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Tips to Enjoy Your Outdoor Fireplace Safely

As the weather starts to cool down, you get more chance to enjoy your outdoor fireplace. Although your outdoor fireplace is a beautiful focal point to relax around with your family and friends, there are safety hazards to consider. To avoid dangerous situations, you need to know how to use your outdoor fireplace safely.

At The Hearth & Patio Shoppe, we are your best source for fireplaces, stoves, and hearth heating appliances in the Auburn area. We also value the safety of our customers and that’s our number one priority. We would love to share with you a few outdoor fireplace safety tips.

PREPARING AND LIGHTING YOUR FIREPLACE

Outdoor Fireplace Safety Tips - Opelika AL - The Hearth & Patio ShoppeBefore you use your outdoor fireplace, you need to make sure the area is clear of combustible items. A good distance is about five to six feet away from the fireplace to avoid the risk of an accidental fire. If you have a wood-burning outdoor fireplace, you need to make sure to have a supply of seasoned firewood. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), seasoned firewood is the only thing you should burn in your fireplace. You need to also refrain from using lighter fluid, gasoline, or flammable fluid to light your outdoor fireplace. Another tip to keep the flames under control is to limit the amount of fuel you give the fire.

USING YOUR FIREPLACE

The most important fire safety rule is to never leave a burning fire in your outdoor fireplace unattended. If you have children or pets, you need to always keep a close eye on them around the fire. A wire mesh cover helps to prevent kids and animals from getting burned. It will also keep hot embers from jumping out of the fire to start an accidental fire. Sometimes, even if you follow every safety practice for your outdoor fireplace, accidents can still occur. In case of an emergency, you should always have a hose or a bucket of water close by. Having sand or a fire extinguisher nearby is also a good idea.

One of the most important tip for a safe outdoor fireplace is to get your chimney professionally swept and inspected yearly. Our sister business, Top Hat Chimney Sweeps, can take care of your chimney maintenance. Contact us at The Hearth & Patio Shoppe for more information. We are here for all of your fireplace needs!

Make Sure You Have Working Carbon Monoxide Detectors

When you own a home with a fireplace, stove, or other hearth heating appliance, you have an important responsibility Carbon Monoxide Detectors - Opelika AL - The Hearth & Patio Shoppeto  ensure every safety precaution has been taken in your home. While some of these safety precautions, such as annual chimney sweepings and inspections, should be done by an experienced and certified chimney professional, you can take care of installing and maintaining detector alarms to notify you of dangerous hazards that could be present in your home. If you think the only alarm you need is a smoke detector, The Hearth & Patio Shoppe would like to tell you about the importance of also having carbon monoxide detector alarms installed in your house.

Why do I need a carbon monoxide detector alarm in my home?

Carbon monoxide is a toxic combustion gas that is produced whenever you burn wood, gas, charcoal, or other fuel. If both your fireplace, stove, or other hearth appliance and your chimney or other type of venting system are working properly, the small amount of carbon monoxide that is produced is exhausted out of your home. However, if there is a problem present, the production of this poisonous gas can be accelerated and could possibly leak into your home. According to the Mayo Clinic, this gas is tasteless, odorless, and colorless, which is why it is so important to have a working carbon monoxide detector alarm in your home to alert you and your family of its presence.

What are the dangers of breathing carbon monoxide?

When a sizable percentage of this toxic gas is present in the air you breathe, the oxygen in your red blood cells is replaced by carbon monoxide. As this gas builds up in your system, you will begin to show symptoms of the early stages of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include dizziness, weakness, dull headaches, nausea, and loss of breath. Since these symptoms are the same as the flu and the common cold, it can be difficult for a doctor to diagnose carbon monoxide poisoning. If you or any member of your family is suffering from these symptoms for more than two weeks, you should ask your doctor to test your blood for carbon monoxide. This can be life-saving as continued breathing of this toxic gas can lead to organ damage and failure as well as to death.

Where should I install these alarms?

Just as with smoke alarms, you should install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Make sure to put one in the same room as your fireplace, stove, or other hearth heating appliance, and there should also be one in every bedroom of your home. To ensure you and your family are always protected, check the batteries of each detector alarm twice a year so you know they are all working properly. The Hearth & Patio Shoppe recommends doing this maintenance check when you move the clocks forward and backward for Daylight Savings Time.

As the best place to buy fireplaces, stoves, and other hearth appliances in the Auburn area, The Hearth & Patio Shoppe places a high priority on our customers’ safety. Contact us with any of your fireplace safety questions and concerns.