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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Winter Fire Safety: Fireplaces

12/3/2021 (Permalink)

Fireplace The American Red Cross reports the involvement of heating equipment in “1 of every 6 home fires.”

As we enter December and begin to really feel a temperature change in the Harrisburg area, fireplaces can provide a much needed source of warmth. While they’re helpful in making our homes cozy, fireplaces can also be fire hazards if utilized unsafely. Keep reading to learn more about ways in which you can protect your home from fire damage stemming from your fireplace this winter. 

Overview of Fireplace Statistics

The American Red Cross reports the involvement of heating equipment in “1 of every 6 home fires.” Additionally, they state that during the winter season, from December to February, the most heating equipment-induced residential fires and deaths occur, as “1 in every 5 home fire deaths and half of all fires caused by home heating occur” in that time frame. These statistics are alarming and you might be wondering what it is that causes heating equipment complications to instigate such devastation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “The leading factor contributing to home heating fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys,” a statement supported by the National Fire Protection Agency. 87% of heating equipment fires in residential buildings, as reported by the EPA, result from fireplaces. From these statistics, it is easy to deduce that fire safety in the presence of fireplaces is critical in preventing unwanted fire damage in your home. 

“So, What Can I Do?”: Chimney Fire Prevention

In this section, we’ll share a few preventative measures against fire hazards that you can take as a homeowner. It is recommended that flammable objects and materials like wrapping paper, clothing, and newspapers, which the Red Cross refers to as “fuel” for fires, should never come closer than 3 feet away from your fireplace. Additionally, you can utilize a fire screen whenever your fireplace is in use, as it keeps embers and sparks from escaping your fireplace. When you’re getting ready to turn in for the night, be sure to thoroughly extinguish your fire. Having a professional check and clean your fireplace once per year is another step recommended by the Red Cross in an effort to protect your home from an unforeseen fireplace emergency. Installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is another step recommended by the Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association in addition to having a fire extinguisher on hand in your home in the event that a fire ignites unexpectedly.

What To Do If Your Fireplace Instigates a Fire

Fireplace fires aren’t supposed to escape the fireplace, but in the event that they do, know that SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall has seen it all and will respond immediately when you contact us. Pick up the phone and call our Harrisburg West office at (717) 510-6779 after any size fire damage emergency. No matter the type or scope of the fire damage, our team of skilled and experienced fire damage specialists will be there to restore your home to its preloss condition. We offer a wide array of services, from Fire Damage Restoration and Water Damage Restoration to Cleaning and deodorizing services. You can also find Fire Damage Tips on our website for more information about what to do before help arrives. This winter, take comfort in the fact that SERVPRO Team Wall has your back and is always ready to make your home’s fire damage “Like it never even happened.” 

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