With the mercury dropping as we reach midwinter, it's little wonder many of us are turning to our cosy fires to keep us warm. Coal is one of the most common fuels used in the home and has been used for heating and cooking for centuries. But it must be handled and burned correctly to prevent dangers occurring. Read on for our health and safety tips for handling coal:
Safety tips when handling coal
1. Wear and use protective equipment
You should always use a shovel with a wooden handle when collecting coal, but wearing heat-proof gloves can also help protect your hands from coal dust and when using fireplace instruments. When disposing of ash, ensure you do so carefully and that it is fully cooled before doing so.
2. Keep your distance
While you might be tempted to sit as close to the fire in the depths of winter, coal fires give off enough heat so you can enjoy them from a safe distance. After all, some coal can spit. Fireguards are also essential, particularly if you have little ones or vulnerable individuals in the home.
3. Be alert to dangers
Take care not to overload your grate as this could cause coals to roll out. When burning coal, always ensure you have a functioning fire extinguisher close by in case this should happen.
4. Take precautions
Have your chimney swept regularly in case of soot build up, which can cause chimney fires. Ensure you also have a carbon monoxide alarm and test it regularly. When burning coal, ensure that you are doing so in an air-conditioned room.
Coal fires aren't just warm and toasty, they also add a real sense of atmosphere. But if you're burning coal, ensure you take these precautions to avoid any accidents. It can also help to opt for cleaner forms of coal such as the kind we stock at London Gases. We use modern technology to remove impurities from our coal, making it much safer to use and a cleaner burning fuel for your home. As well as coal, we also supply logs, Calor gas, beer gas, and helium gas all year round for all your home needs.