Now that the holidays are past, it’s time to settle in and enjoy some quiet, snuggly evenings out of the cold winter breezes. Somehow there’s nothing quite as relaxing as watching a fire snap and crackle while sipping hot cider or some smooth, creamy hot chocolate. Whether you’re home after a long day indoors at the office or outdoors doing construction work, or whatever your job may be, you deserve to spend some quiet time unwinding in front of your beautiful fireplace. But before you settle in, make sure that this relaxing scenario doesn’t turn into a scary nightmare situation because you didn’t follow some simple rules of fire safety.

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The first thing you’ll want to do is check out the area around your fireplace. This seems like such a simple thing to do, but it can save a lot of trouble! Make sure that there are no flammable items near the fireplace itself. This includes books and magazines, cushions, blankets, pillows, toys, or any other thing you might have laying around. You’ll also want to have a fire extinguisher nearby, and make sure that it’s in working condition. Make sure you have a type A extinguisher and remember to check it once a month to make sure it’s in working order. Check the pressure gauge to make sure it’s in the correct range and check the canister for dents and dings.

Another important piece of equipment is the smoke detector. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, you should have a smoke detector in every bedroom and outside of every sleep area and on every floor of your home. Test your smoke detectors once a month to make sure they’re working, and change the batteries every six months.

Plan an Escape Route

Another important thing to do is to plan an escape route in case a fire does break out. Make sure that every family member knows how to escape each room in case there is a fire, and if there are small children in the house, make sure that you know who is responsible for getting these children out of bed in case a fire starts at night. Set a meeting place where all family members can meet so that you can know that all people are out of the house. Practice this plan to make sure that everyone can escape quickly.

Plan Ahead to Schedule Cleaning

It’s also never too early to think about calling us here at Old Dominion Chimneys to schedule a cleaning and inspection when the weather gets nice. There’s nothing more dangerous than a creosote lined chimney, because that highly flammable creosote can easily catch a spark and start a chimney fire. Our trained professionals have the tools and the knowledge to make sure your chimney is safe and free of obstructions as well. Call early so that you can have your appointment scheduled at a time that is convenient for you!