In the U.S. many residential fires are started in the fireplace. As such following fireplace safety tips at all times can help reduce the chances of residential fires.
Many fireplace fires flare out of control when the creosote buildup in the chimney catches fire. By getting the chimney cleaned regularly, it is possible to significantly reduce the chances of an apartment catching fire. Those moving into an apartment should ask for a chimney cleaned certificate from the landlord and also ensure regular cleaning.
Another major cause of fires that originate from the fireplace is the flying sparks. Most fireplaces come with a screen that has a mesh to ensure that sparks are contained close to the fireplace. Residents should always ensure that the fireplace screen design is positioned properly when a fire has been started.
While it might appear to be easier to start a fire in the fireplace by adding flammable material such as gasoline to ensure that the firewood catches fire quickly, this is unsafe. Adding such material can make it difficult to control the fire leading to the apartment catching fire. Trash should not be burnt in the fireplace as its various components can burn at different rates, making it more difficult to control a blazing fire.
Even with a fireplace screen in place, the heat from the fire as well as even a single spark can lead to combustible material catching fire. As such you should never place combustible material and objects near the fireplace. Even firewood should be stored away from the fireplace either in the garage or in the basement, and not near the fire.
You should never leave a blazing fire on and go to sleep. This is because, even with a fireplace screen in place, a fire can be dangerous unless watched. If you are leaving the apartment or going to bed, take the time to put out the fire completely. Even a single spark can lead to a dangerous fire and unpleasant consequences.
To avoid fires caused by fireplaces, one should take proper precautions when cleaning it. All the ashes and embers should be collected only in a metal bucket. Once collected, the ashes and embers should be doused with water to put out any sparks. The fireplace should be cleaned completely to ensure that there are to sparks or embers left behind.
A person taking these precautions can safely enjoy a fire in their apartment for years to come and save money on heating bills as well (well, it depends on how they obtain the wood and the cost of the fuel).