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A fireplace is a great place for leisure and pleasure, and those who own one cherish it. However, a study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) points out that chimneys and fireplaces cause 15,000 indoor fires annually in the US. Therefore, you should take precaution to keep your fireplace safe.

Perhaps you are a victim of a fire outbreak. Contact IMA Select for comprehensive insurance cover on your property and life assurance.

The 6 Fireplace Tips to prevent house fires


1. Clean the fireplace at least once a year

The NFPA recommends that you clean the entire fireplace system at least once every year. It may make sense to address this at the onset of winter, when you are most likely to use it. Seek the services of a professional to strip off the soot, debris and gunk from the flue and chimney. Remember that you should clean the firebox after every fire.


2. Keep flammable materials away from the fireplace

Keep kindling, wood, and matches are at least 3 feet away from the fireplace. Ember ignition is a common source of house fires and should be avoided by all means.

3. Always put out the fire before you leave.

An unattended fire is hazardous. Wind may open a window and blow embers into the interior, setting flame to flammable materials like furniture or curtains. A few stray sparks can lead to catastrophic damage. If you are attending to someone or something else, please switch off the fire first – an errand might take longer than you thought.

4. Check the damper for proper closure and tightness

The damper is crucial for a functional fireplace. Make sure you close it tightly. Remove any debris that may prevent it from opening or closing properly.

5. Confine the debris into the fireplace using a fire-screen

You must stop debris from leaving the fireplace. A fire-screen restores the spitting embers and also prevents children or pets from accessing the fire. It is a critical precaution to avoid fire accidents.

6. Inspect the chimney for cracks

A professional will help you to spot cracks, missing mortar, and deteriorated chimney liner. Seek expert services annually. Part of good fireplace maintenance is removing creosote – after collecting in the chimney, it ignites at high temperatures. A faulty chimney may lead to a buildup of harmful carbon monoxide in your living room. Also, cap the chimney to keep away birds, rodents, external debris and rain from entering the fireplace. Replace a worn-out cap. Additionally, install a spark arrester to prevent embers from flying out, which could cause a fire on the roof.

See more fireplace safety tips here.

Insurance can help address any unprecedented fire incidents. For queries on insuring your premises from fire and other hazards, please contact our IMA Select representative near you. See our insurance packages and book an appointment with us.

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