Most people don’t know for a fact that fireplaces actually cause house fires and, as such, the fail to take necessary precautions to keep their fireplaces safe. When it comes to fires, nothing takes the place of prevention and this is why you need to learn important steps you need to take as a family to protect your home from any accidental fires.

The first and most important place to begin with is making sure you remove any junk close to the fireplace as this normally aids in the spread of fires. While we all love the warmth of the hearth, we need to play an active role in keeping the place safe because a fire can cause trouble if it spreads fast. This is the reason why thing such as old newspapers, firewood and kindles need to be kept a safe distance from the fireplace. A good way to ensure the fireplace is safe is to ensure that you have a fireplace screen in place so as to keep any flying embers away from stuff that can easily catch fire.

The next place to put your attention is the chimney, which most homeowners rarely look any time after it has been installed. Failure to inspect the chimney can actually create a potential fire hazard and, as such, you should have it inspected at least once annually. The trouble with leaving the chimney uninspected is that once in a while, birds could find their way there and build nests especially when the fireplace has not been used for a while. The trouble with these nests is that they can actually block the chimney and force smoke back into the house or worse still, they could catch fire and turn into a real hazard. There is also the danger of a chimney that has not been cleaned over some time having a combustible substance known as creosote forming and this could also cause a fire.

You also need to realize that you don’t need too much wood in order to create a fire; burning too much wood at one time can also be risky. This is because a small fire can quickly grow into a bonfire if there is so much dry wood at the fireplace. Wisdom therefore demands that you only place so much wood at the fireplace and if need be you can add more as need arises. A homeowner should also avoid the temptation to burn anything else at the fireplace other than wood or special logs made for the fireplace. Sometimes homeowner burn trash or newspapers but there is always the risk that these could light up pretty fast and become a source of trouble.

Last but not least, remember that a fire extinguisher is not a decoration and you need to have a functional one at home every time. Having such an implement will ensure that any small fire that happens accidentally does not turn into a blaze that can destroy property or even precious lives. Also ensure that you have a smoke alarm in place if you decide to make use of that fireplace at your home.