Top tips for using coal safely this winter

With the cold winter months gradually closing in, lots of people will soon be turning on a variety of different heat sources. Coal fireplaces are an excellent way to combat the recent hike in gas and electricity prices, but it’s imperative that they are used safely. If not, they could cause a fire that will spread quickly throughout your home. Below, you’ll find our top tips for using coal safely this winter.

Provide plenty of oxygen

All fires need a sufficient supply of oxygen to burn, but with coal fires, providing enough oxygen is also a matter of safety. When you burn coal, it also produces carbon monoxide. If there is a lack of oxygen, the carbon monoxide will rapidly accumulate and spread throughout the house instead of up the chimney. To ensure the coal fire gets plenty of oxygen, have a small opening at the front.

Slowly build the fire up

Coal burns hot, but not overly fast. The best way to build a coal fire up is to start with a small amount of coal. As the fire grows, you can add more coal, but avoid crowding the grate because you’ll risk speeding up the production of carbon monoxide and blocking the airflow. Crowding the grate with too much coal is also a waste of fuel because coal burns hot, so you don’t need to use extra to sufficiently heat the room.

Remove potential hazards

Fire spreads incredibly quickly if it gains access to any accelerants, so you should remove any potential hazards before lighting your coal fireplace. These include hanging fabrics, such as curtains, and other soft furnishings. It is recommended that you leave approximately three feet between a fireplace and your furniture as a safety precaution. Coal burns at very high temperatures, so anything that could potentially go up in flames should be kept well away from your fireplace.

London’s leading independent supplier of coal

If you need to stock up on coal for your fireplace, London Gases have got you covered. Make a purchase online today or call 020 8807 4633 to find out more.