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Safety precautions for your fireplace

Fire safety, whether in the home or out in public spaces, is imperative. Fire is a dangerous element and can inflict burns that range from being mildly painful to fatal.
Burn wounds also leave the body vulnerable to infection, so taking precautions around open flames is important.
In our homes, the most notable space where you would find an open flame is in the fireplace. In order to keep the area around the fireplace accident free, there are some precautions homeowners can take.
In winter, time around the fireplace can be relaxing. Fireplaces provide a warm environment to spend time with family and friends.

Fireplace gates

Fireplace gates retail anywhere from R500 upwards and are great for ensuring that children and pets don’t venture too close to the flames.
Sometimes, logs and other objects tend to fall out of the grid and on to the floor in front of it. This gate will ensure that no one gets hurt.
Also ensure the area around the fireplace is clear of anything flammable.

Chimney Inspection

Fireplace and chimney hazards are preventable with thorough and frequent inspection. The Chimney Safety Institute recommends that homeowners who light fires in their fireplaces three or more times a week during winter should have their chimneys inspected and cleaned once a year, says Home Advisor.

Creosote build-up occurs when unseasoned wood is burned. Creosote is a carbonaceous chemical formed by the distillation of various tars and the pyrolysis of plant-derived material, such as wood or fossil fuel; typically used as preservatives or antiseptics explains Wikipedia. 

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that creosote is carcinogenic to humans.

Do not leave!

Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house, Healthy Children advises. If you leave the room while the fire is burning or the fireplace is still hot, take your small child with you.

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