Now that the nights are getting colder and longer, there is nothing quite like sitting down in front of a real fire. It does not matter if you own an open hearth, a multi-fuel fire or a wood-burning stove, it is easy to become accustomed to the real flame display and warmth at the very heart of your living room. Nevertheless, romantic imagery aside, it is important to remember to keep your fireplace safe this winter, and in this article, we will look at some simple steps you can take to keep those home fires burning without the drama.
Prior to lighting your fire
Your fire will have been left unused for the past few months, but before you rush headlong into lighting a fire, you need to carry out a few simple checks. Your chimney should be kept free of dirt and debris at least once a year, and this should be carried out by a professional chimney sweep. A dirty chimney could lead to a chimney fire or toxic gases escaping into your home.
Understand your fuel requirements
This is another necessity, and if you are unsure as to what type of fuel to use to burn in your appliance, it is a good idea to consult the manufacturer's guide that came with it. If you do not have this to hand, then consult a local London solid fuel supply company, as they will be able to give you all the advice you need.
You will also need to check whether you are residing in a smoke control area, as if you burn fuels other than the smokeless varieties, you could be in line for a sizeable fine from the local authority.
General safety tips
Never overload the fireplace with coal or wood, and empty ash traps as soon as you can, ideally between uses. If you own a multi-fuel stove, avoid burning two different fuel types at the same time, and if you can, always opt for smokeless coal over the house variety to reduce the cumulation of soot.
And of course, never leave a fireplace unattended for long periods of time. Always make sure that the fire is extinguished before leaving the property or when retiring to bed.