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11 Dangerously Common Mistakes Folks Make With Their Fireplaces Every Day

One of my favorite things about the holiday season has always been sitting in front of my family’s fireplace with all the lights off, just enjoying the cozy atmosphere while we catch up or play board games.

Of course, just like any other time you’re using flames in your home, it’s important to be well aware of all the dangers and common mistakes that might be hiding behind the warmth and beautiful scenery that fireplaces provide. I know I’ve been guilty of more than a few of the potentially life-threating slip ups listed below without realizing just how much damage my thoughtlessness could have caused.

Before lighting up your holiday blaze this year, take a look to see which common errors might accidentally be putting you and your family at risk.

Let us know in the comments if we missed any of the biggest tips and then be sure to SHARE with your loved ones!

 

1. Breathing In Too Much Toxic Aroma

1. Breathing In Too Much Toxic Aroma

The logs that create your beautiful ambience are also emitting tiny airborne specks of pollution that are small enough to find their way deep into your lungs, bringing with them high levels of chemicals linked to heart disease and cancer.

Their fumes have been described as being just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes or inhaling car exhaust, so definitely make sure you aren’t overdoing it.

2. Burning Carbon Monoxide Coals

2. Burning Carbon Monoxide Coals

You might be tempted to bring your backyard grill coals into the house, but carbon monoxide increases as they burn, so it’s never a good idea to light these up in a contained environment.

3. Using Gas Or Lighter Fluid

3. Using Gas Or Lighter Fluid

Again, you might be tempted to pump up your fire with the same tools you use during the summer for your backyard grill, but as you can see, there’s no predicting how fast and how high the flames will reach — and using lighter fluid indoors could cause serious, even life-threatening levels of damage.

4. Using Too Much Paper Kindling

4. Using Too Much Paper Kindling

I know you’re anxious to get a gorgeous blaze going, but patience is important. Stoking with more paper or kindling than necessary can easily get out of hand.

5. Forgetting To Open The Damper

 5. Forgetting To Open The Damper

In all the excitement of starting your first fire of the season, it’s easy to forget this simple and super important step. Make sure to double check that the flue is open before lighting anything up.

6. Ignoring Sparks That Fly Over The Guard

6. Ignoring Sparks That Fly Over The Guard

Those unpredictable flames like to wander and little flecks may make their way over your guard, which is why it’s so important to never leave the room empty where a fire is blazing, even for just a few moments.

7. Putting Christmas Decorations Too Close

7. Putting Christmas Decorations Too Close

I know, this is a tradition of the holiday! My family definitely still does this, but again, it’s just important to keep an eye on the fire and make sure your stockings and other decor are secure and placed far enough away to avoid accidents.

8. Getting Too Close To The Glass Guard

8. Getting Too Close To The Glass Guard

If you’re using a glass shield for your fireplace and have any small animals or children wandering around, their curiosity about the fire can come with some seriously painful costs as one mom unfortunately learned a few years back when her toddler wandered too close to the scalding hot glass.

9. Closing The Damper Too Soon

9. Closing The Damper Too Soon

Even if it seems like all of the flames have gone out, you shouldn’t close the damper until the ashes have also completely cooled down or else you run the risk of them creating high levels of carbon monoxide.

10. Ignoring Chimney Cracks

10. Ignoring Chimney Cracks

Over time, cracks can allow the toxins lining the chimney to leak into your home. Also, even just a few ashes caught in the cracks can set the whole thing ablaze with sparks from a new fire.

11. Skipping The Annual Inspection

11. Skipping The Annual Inspection

Above all, you should always, always have your fireplace and chimney inspected and swept by a professional at least once a year before you light up your first fire of the winter.

Did we miss any of the dangers you know are lurking in our cozy fireplaces? Let us know below and be sure to SHARE with your friends!

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