Fireplace safety for Children and your Home

Hi Readers,

I hope you are all well?

Well, the Fireplace season is now upon us; the weather is turning colder and colder by the day and the need to turn up the heat is almost mandatory ;)…

With the increase of heat in your home fueled by your fires or stoves, there also comes an inherent safety increase that needs to be adhered to, especially if you have children.

A fireplace or stove can get very hot indeed and can be very interesting for kids – those moving flames and cozy heat, a child could easily sustain serious burns if they’re not kept at a safe distance!

A fireplace guard is the answer!

There are many fire guards available in the UK, from tradional to contemporary styles; fire screens, 3-fold, 4-fold, fire box-cages and more…

I remember as a young child, my Mother and Father had a brass fire cage that was large enough to fit over the fire, the hearth and extend the width of the mantel – we got rid of it in later years (i.e. put it in the garage) as they became more trusting; still, they used to get it out when younger cousins came to visit.

My cousin John was prone to getting into all sorts of mischief – lol nothing changes…

Other Things to consider:

  • Have you educated your family about fire safety?
  • Have you got smoke alarms?
  • Have you got, or considered getting a fire extinguisher?

Smoke Alarms need to be fitted in all rooms in the house, including the loft / attic – even fit one in the shed – fires can still happen in your back yard / garden.

Fire Extinguishers are a good idea – you don’t have to have the large industrial canisters – most large DIY stores sell smaller versions.

Fire safety education is a must – most local Fire Stations can give great advice on home fire safety, there are short courses and seminars that can be undertaken and the Internet can provide quite a good source (although be sure that the advice given is from a trusted UK site).

I hope this information is useful – and always remember to keep safe while you keep warm!

Over and out!

Buck 😉

Published in: on September 10, 2008 at 2:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A deeper look at fires, thatched roofing and safety…

In a previous article title – Sparks, wood for fireplaces and tree types! – I looked briefly at fires in thatched roofing and some of the causes…

I will now discuss some of these subjects in a little more depth.

There are a number of differing causes for thatched roofing fires. From the types of wood being burnt in house stoves / fireplaces to the design of the fireplace.

Home heating has evolved in the past 100 years – increased insulation and fireplace efficiency are factors with which older chimneys cannot manage and thus thatched roofs for buildings of this kind can suffer fire through heat transfer!

With older flues, magnetic thermometers can be fitted at the main exit, to measure the temperature of the passing gases. This is most certainly not a full proof prevention, but it could help to prevent a fire…

Thatched roofing should be regularly maintained by a professional thatcher – the location of your property can affect the frequency of this as could the materials used in the thatching. (It is advisable to check with a professional thatcher for your specific requirements)

A completely new thatched roof can help to prevent a future fire. With new thatched roofs, it is common that fire resistant insulation boards are laid before the thatch is put in place. It is important to check the details, as to my knowledge, these boards only offer a small amount of fire protection.

It is strongly advised that smoke detectors are fitted in the highest point of the roof – the alarm system should be wired such that notification alarms can be placed in viable places, such as; bedrooms and other living spaces, kitchen and bathrooms – your alarm system should also be mains-wired, with an uninterruptible power supply, for backup!

Electrcal systems and thatched roofing

Your house electrical system should be maintained regularly by an NICEIC approved electrical engineer and only essential conduit fitted electric cable should run through the roof space – bare cable should NEVER be attached to the rafters holding the thatch in place!

Television aerials should have a long enough pole that separates it from the roof – electrical fires caused by storms and lightning strikes are very rare, but not unheard of – therefore a lightning conductor should also be fitted. (Check the full details with your supplier)

General safety for you thatched roof

It is common place these days, that people have barbecues… I do!

What better, than on a sunny day, relaxing in the garden with a cold one and juicy burger!

But…

Barbecues (and bonfires for that matter) can be extremely dangerous when situated too close to a building with a thatched roof! It is important to remember that having a barbecue also coincides perfectly with the conditions required for a roof fire… Build wise – always situate your barbecue in a safe place with ample distance from your house. If embers do rise, then there should be no risk of fire!

As a last note; if you’re a smoker, then always extinguish smoking materials before you go to bed. Candles are great, but always use caution.. It wouldn’t be so great if a 49p candle cost you your house!

I hope this article has been useful?

Take care, 😉 Buck!

Published in: on July 29, 2008 at 3:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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