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

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

Chimney fires, stove fires, fireplace fires… how knowledgeable are you about fire safety?

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

  • Do you see your home 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 your fireplace or flue in order to safely use them when lighting cosy fires in your home?
  • Do you think that it’s fine to burn any type of wood or newspaper, for example, in your home fireplace, stove, or chimney?
  • Do you often use your home fires to burn any household rubbish that you have lying around?
  • Do you think that having active fireplaces, stoves and chimney fires 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 home fires to keep your home warm, or you’re burning fires for a merely decorative effect, you need to make sure you keep an eye on what type of wood you’re burning in your home.

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

Attempting to create home fires with wet or damp wood will create a lot of smoke. This could create a safety hazard within the home, potentially triggering asthma attacks or other difficulties for members of the household who have breathing problems.

Plus, large quantities of smoke billowing through your home will be likely to damage the interior of your property. So, it’s important to make sure that you only use dry wood for burning in your home fires.

The same goes for ensuring you use untreated wood in your home fires: burn treated wood, and you may well release unsafe fumes into your home. So, it’s safest to use only untreated wood as home fire 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 it’s important to select tree species that can guarantee a sustainable supply of fire wood.

Fires in your home: how can you make sure that you’re lighting fires safely?

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

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

Keep those home flues and chimneys clear!

It’s vital to regularly clean your home’s flues, stoves, chimneys and fireplaces to make sure that you can continue to enjoy your home 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 home fire set-up.

Regular sweeping will help ensure that you can safely set your home fires, as well as reducing the smoke that will be emitted from any fires that you do light.

So, those are the home fire safety basics. Choose your wood – and any other fire fuel – wisely, keep your home’s flues, chimneys, stoves or fireplaces clean and ensure you keep your home free from smoke, to prevent damage to both the home and its residents.

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

Concerned about the risk posed by your home chimney, 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.