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Rosie on the House

Fireplace safety is important around the holidays

When it finally gets cold in the Valley, many residents rush to light their fireplace up.

Before you do, make sure you are aware of these fire safety questions and their answers.

What safety precautions should I take with my gas fireplace?

Rosie urges anyone who converts a wood-burning fireplace to gas to take precautions to protect your family and your home from harm and practice good gas fireplace safety.

Whenever you use a gas appliance in your home, you run the risk that excess carbon monoxide will poison your family or that an untended gas flame will cause a fire.

You can prevent those tragedies by studying your manufacturer's gas fireplace safety instructions and by following Rosie's tips for enjoying your gas-burning fireplace without incident.

To read more, click here.

Can I clean a wood burning fireplace flue myself?

The biggest issue with a wood burning fireplace is that wood never burns completely.

Wood smoke is a combination of unburned gases and a fog of unburned tar-like liquids. When they come in contact with a cool surface, they will condense and form a nasty substance called creosote -- it's highly combustible -- and can leave a undesirable odor. When allowed to form a blanket in the interior walls of the fireplace, it could result in a chimney fire.

Other dangers can be: faulty dampers, obstructions in the flue pipe, deterioration, exposed wood, and no chimney cap/spark arrestor.

This is all part of the chimney inspection and cleaning process.

To read more, click here.

Other rules for fireplace safety

• Don't burn trash. Smoke and ashes can be toxic.
• Don't use charcoal lighter of kerosene to light your fires. They could flame up.
• Use a spark screen while burning and a grate to lay your wood on.
• Be sure the damper is open before lighting your fire.
• Never leave small children in a room with a fire.
• Never leave your home while the fire is burning or go to bed.
• Make sure furniture or anything combustible is not to close to the fireplace. That includes Christmas trees.
• Check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms annually.
• Have a fire escape plan.

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Rosie on the House airs on 92.3 KTAR-FM every Saturday from 8-11 a.m.

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