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Fireplace Safety



Fireplace Safety
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.77

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    burning, happening, kerosene, buildup, charcoal, monoxide, especially, easily, extinguisher, fluid, lighter, fireplace, level, matches, great, logs


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Fireplace Safety
By Cathy Pearl
  

1     A fireplace is a great thing to have in your house. It is a way to heat your house and is very pretty to look at while it is burning. But you have to be careful with a fireplace, too. Mistakes that don't seem very serious could cause your house to burn down. These mistakes could also hurt people in your home.
 
2     Always burn wood in your fireplace. Don't use different things like charcoal that you would use in a grill outside. Using charcoal creates higher temperatures in your chimney than burning wood does. It can cause a flue fire. Burning any kind of fuel lets off the gas carbon monoxide. This isn't a gas you can smell or see, but it is very dangerous. If people breathe in carbon monoxide, it can kill them. Burning charcoal releases more carbon monoxide than burning wood does. If you have a fireplace, having a carbon monoxide detector is a good idea. Make sure the fireplace damper is wide open to allow dangerous gases to escape up the chimney. Don't close the damper until the fire is completely out.
 
3     Sparks can fly out of a fireplace when you aren't paying attention. Or they could fly out when you are adding logs to the fire. You have to be very careful to keep this from happening. A fireplace screen or glass doors can help keep the sparks where they belong. A rug that is made for use around a fireplace can help prevent a fire when sparks fly out.
 
4     Don't ever use gas, kerosene, or lighter fluid to start a fire. The vapors from these can cause an explosion. Use dry, seasoned wood. Small pieces will start to burn more quickly than large pieces. Use the smaller pieces to start the fire with. Long matches will also help protect you from getting burned when you light the fire.
 
5     Every year, before lighting the fireplace for the first time, have the chimney inspected. There are companies that you can hire that will do this for you. If the chimney is dirty, it should be cleaned. Buildup in a chimney can start a fire. This fire can spread from the chimney to the rest of the house.

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