As winter approaches in San Diego, many of us will start gathering around the fireplace in the evenings. While this is an excellent way to bond with family members, there are steps we need to take to ensure our safety.
Although San Diegans generally don’t use their fireplaces as regularly as other cities do, it’s important to have the ventilation system swept regularly and inspect the flue lining for cracks. If there are any cracks wider than 2cm, you should have it repaired before housing a fire.
While gas fireplaces are very efficient, they also pose safety concerns. If you have a gas fireplace be sure to double-check that the gas is turned off before going to bed. The gas control key should always be stored in another location to prevent the key from accidentally getting opened and releasing gas into your home. If you have young children, be sure the control key is out of reach or install a lock on the knob.
Finally, while the crackling of the fireplace is half of its charm, it’s important that you take precautions to protect your home against popping embers. Installing a hanging or standing wire mesh screen provides a barrier between the embers and potentially flammable items in your living room. In addition, you may want to place a non-flammable rug in front of your fireplace hearth to prevent any stray embers from singing your carpet or hardwood floors.