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When the fall and winter weather comes storming in, one of our favourite things to do is cozy up beside a warm fireplace! Gathering around a lit fireplace with friends and family, especially in the winter months, is something potential homeowner envision when viewing a home that has a fireplace. Although having a fireplace is a great feature to have in your home, you must be aware of fireplace safety to ensure there are no accidents.

Know your fireplace. Wood-burning, gas and electric fireplaces all have different pros and cons to having them in your home. Make sure you know which kind you have and what it requires in terms of maintenance and supplies (wood logs, screens, etc.).

Do you have children or pets? Install safety gates around the fireplace to ensure that they stay away from the fireplace itself, as well as the hard stone that normally surrounds it.  Make sure that the area around it is clutter-free, including toys, and that fireplace accessories like matches/lighters are out of reach. Don’t forget to teach your children the dangers of fire and fire safety rules when they are old enough to understand.

Make sure to have alarms correctly installed in your home. In case an issue does arise, you want to be alerted! Install a carbon monoxide detector in the same room as the fireplace, and to avoid false alarms from your smoke detector, place it a safe distance away. Make sure to change the batteries of your alarms every season to ensure they run correctly.

Never leave the fire burning unattended. Before your leave the house, or go to bed at night, make sure that the fire is completely out. Don’t forget to make sure the fire is properly enclosed with a screen or protective cover to avoid ashes escaping the fireplace.

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