Chimney fires: how can you safely enjoy a fire in your home?

There are few things more enjoyable that lighting a wood fire in a stove or fireplace, filling your home with warmth and comfort. But, at the same time, lighting a fire does pose a safety risk. So, how can you be sure that you’re safely enjoying warming the hearth in your property? Netatmo has a few tips for you to bear in mind, so you can keep that cosy fire blazing at a reduced risk to your home.

Stoves and open fires… how knowledgeable are you about fire safety?

Let’s start by seeing what you think about the fire in your home. There might be some fire safety points that you’ve never even thought of! So, here goes…

  • Do you see fires as a pleasant source of heat, to curl up in front of while you’re enjoying a cup of coffee during the winter?
  • Do you think that you need to regularly sweep and clean the fireplace or chimney in order to use them safely?
  • Do you think that it’s fine to burn any type of wood or newspaper, for example, in your fireplace or stove?
  • Do you often use the fire to burn any household rubbish that you have lying around?
  • Do you think that having active fireplaces and stoves in your home is a totally harmless activity, that doesn’t require any safety equipment or safety mechanisms?

If you’ve answered with any combination that includes c, d or e, carry on reading for further safety tips that you’ll want to bear in mind to keep your home safe!

Home fires: you’ve got to know what type of wood you can burn

Whether you’re using the fire to keep your home warm, or merely for decorative effect, you need to keep an eye on what type of logs you’re burning.

The wood needs to be untreated, dry and only from certain tree species that are suitable for the purpose. There are several reasons for these wood specifications, so we’ll take a closer look at them here.

Attempting to start a fire with wet or damp logs and kindling will create a lot of smoke. This could create a safety hazard within the home, affecting air quality and potentially triggering asthma attacks or other difficulties for members of the family who have breathing problems.

Plus, large quantities of smoke billowing through your home will be likely to damage the interior of your property. So, make sure that you only burn dry logs.

The same goes for ensuring you use untreated wood in your home fires: burn treated wood, and you may well release unsafe fumes. So, it’s best to use only untreated wood as fuel.

Finally, you’ll need to make sure that you’re burning wood from tree species that are suitable for use in the home. Several factors come into this: for example, some wood burns with more smoke that others and you should also select tree species that can guarantee a sustainable supply of firewood.

Fires in your home: how can you be sure that you’re lighting them safely?

Follow these simple steps to enjoy fires without emitting excessive amounts of smoke or creating an unnecessary hazard.

  • Light the fire carefully, burning the fuel responsibly
  • Place a fireguard around the stove or fireplace to stop anyone wandering too close to the fire
    This is especially important if you have young children, who won’t be aware of the dangers of going too close to the heat of the fire.
  • Make sure that you keep any flammable objects away from the stove or fireplace
  • Do not burn anything that could release toxic fumes
  • Keep track of the quality of your chimney insulation and ventilation system
    This will help to reduce the hazard posed by your fire and reduce the amount of smoke.
  • Check smoke detectors on a regular basis
    Replace the batteries in your detectors on a regular basis, as well as checking the detector function frequently. This is particularly important to do during the colder seasons, when you’re more likely to be using your stove or fireplace.

It’s incredibly important to install a smoke detector in your home: they’re a legal requirement in the UK. Even if you don’t have a wood burning stove or fireplace in your home, the detector will help prevent any cooking-related hazards, too.

Keep that flue and chimney clear!

Regularly cleaning your flue, stove, chimney and fireplace is vital if you want to continue enjoying your fires safely.

As well as ensuring that you use a fireguard and burn the recommended type of fuel, you’ll need to regularly clean all the components of your set-up.

Having your chimney swept regularly will help ensure that you can safely set your fires, as well as reducing the smoke that will be emitted.

So, those are the home fire safety basics. Choose your wood – and any other fire fuel – wisely, keep your flue, chimney, stove or fireplace clean and ensure you keep your home smoke-free, to prevent damage to the property and keep its residents safe.

Then, you can carry on enjoying those cosy home fires for years to come!

Concerned about the risk posed by your stove or fireplace? Looking to protect your home from potential fires? Check out the Netatmo Smart Smoke Detector today and increase your home’s protection from fire.