Security and Safety

Holiday Hearth Safety Tips

By Kristy Alpert 12.9.16

Nothing provides warmth from the chills of winter quite like a real log burning in the fireplace. The crackle and glow creates a comfy setting for a night spent cradling cups of cocoa and cuddling beneath cozy blankets.

However, the friendliness of fire also has its dangers. The National Fire Protection Association reports that 43 percent of all heating-related fires stem from fireplaces and chimneys; according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, fireplaces, chimneys, and chimney connectors have caused an average of $96.9 million in house-fire damages each year.

Follow these safety tips whenever you light your fire:

  • Use a fireplace grate.
  • Keep glass doors open while a fire is burning.
  • Close mesh screens while a fire is burning.
  • Have your fireplace, chimney, and all other heating equipment inspected and cleaned professionally every year to get rid of dangerous creosote chemicals that build up.
  • Install a removable cap at the top of the chimney to protect against debris and animals.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Avoid burning garbage, paper, charcoal, or plastic in the fireplace, and never use lighter fluid or gasoline to light an indoor fire.
  • Keep flammable items (books, newspapers, furniture, indoor plants, etc.) away from the area.
  • Install a spark arrestor with 1/4-inch mesh.
  • Clean out ashes from previous fires and store them in a noncombustible container with a tight-fitting lid. Keep the container outside and away from the house.
  • Never leave a fire unattended, and make sure it is extinguished and cold before going to sleep.
  • Extinguish the fire completely before closing the damper.

It’s always a good idea to speak with your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to make sure your homeowners policy is sufficient to rebuild your home and replace personal possessions, if necessary.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2016 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance