On a chilly winter night, there’s nothing better than winding down in front of a blazing fire while reading a book or watching TV.

Fireplaces can be comforting and practical when used correctly; however, they can also be dangerous as noted by the number of claims to homeowners insurance policies due to fireplace fires.

Before you light that log, check out these homeowners insurance agency tips on how to safely warm your house and your soul with a fireplace that’s ready for the season!

1. Clean It Out!

The biggest mistake that homeowners make when using their fireplace is not cleaning it out prior to the first use.

Whether it’s leaves and organic debris that has fallen down the chimney, animals building nests in various places, or caked on creosote and other residue from past fires, all of these can cause dangerous chimney fires that result in a home fire and an unnecessary claim to your homeowners insurance policy.

Every fall before you light that first fire of the season, have your fireplace cleaned and chimney inspected by a professional chimney sweep to ensure it’s safe for use.

2. Don’t Forget to Open the Flue

The second biggest mistake that homeowners make when using their fireplace is forgetting to open the flue.

Of course, you want to keep the flue closed to conserve heat when you’re not using the fireplace; however, it’s essential that you open it back up again before lighting a fire.

Failure to open your flue when you light a fire can fill your house with smoke and even more dangerously, fill your house with toxic carbon monoxide gas.

3. Learn How to Build A Fire

You’d be surprised how challenging it can be to get a good roaring fire going if you don’t know the right way to do it.

You’ll get a lot more enjoyment from your fireplace and keep your home safer if you put the time into learning the correct way to build a fire.

From wood selection and storage to using the right kindling and how to work the damper to your benefit, you’ll struggle less and be sitting back to enjoy the warmth sooner if you know the proper techniques.

4. Keep the Fireplace Area Safe

Maintaining a safe fireplace is another critical part of using one to prevent unexpected calls to your homeowners insurance agency.

Yours should have a spark screen or glass in front to keep embers from flying out and clutter should be kept away from the immediate area.

Only use your fireplace tools inside it; never burn anything but wood in the fire, and be sure to keep a fire extinguisher close just in case.

If your carpet comes right up against the edge of the fireplace and there’s no buffer area, put down a fire-proof area rug in front or install some tile there.

5. Never Leave A Fire Unattended

As homey and harmless as a fireplace can seem, it’s essential that you keep an eye on yours when it’s lit to avoid having to make a damage claim to your homeowners insurance policy if the fire gets out of hand.

A stray ember that gets past the spark screen can be the cause for a devastating fire or a problem with the flue can fill your home with smoke.

Children may be attracted by the bright, flickering flames and the warmth will draw your pets closer.

Only start a fire when you can actually keep an eye on it to prevent these and other issues.

Enjoy Your Fireplace This Winter

Every winter, homeowners insurance agencies receive calls from customers who have sustained damage to their homes from preventable fireplace accidents.

Reduce the chance that you could experience the same by following these simple fireplace preparedness tips.

Get plenty of enjoyment plus peace of mind when you take the precautions necessary to use your fireplace safely!

Need Homeowners Insurance in Bryan Texas?

Contact Jones & Associates For Homeowners Insurance Help!

Call (979) 599-7532 Today!