Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chimney and fire safety, and your children

Most of us are very familiar with this: It's a lock placed on a cabinet to protect young children from accessing what is inside.
Typically, the things we'd protect children from are everything from cleaning products to sharp objects. This Mr. Yuk sticker is an indication of such in many U.S. households, and has been since the 1970s.
In the United States, millions have used the Mr. Yuk sticker as a source of warning for their children regarding toxic chemicals, cleaning products, etc.

Additionally, it's common to allow kids to be responsible for fixing at least one meal per day on their own. Parent News reports that it's best to provide children with simple, easy-to-prepare meals that don't require a range or oven when they are home alone, due to the dangerous nature of such appliances.

Which brings me to ask the question: If you can go to all the trouble of labeling cleaning supplies with the Mr. Yuk sticker, lock them away in a cabinet that can easily be reached by small hands, and walk away feeling secure - why wouldn't you protect your children from fires?

It seems a bit trite, I'm sure. But to be more specific, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission labeled the 4th most common cause of chimney fires to be "Structural damage to the chimney caused by the ignition of creosote (a black tar-like substance that builds up inside the chimney in normal use)." (See article here.)

Left to their own devices, especially in winter months, kids are likely to keep the house warm by doing what they see their parents doing: starting a fire in the fireplace. But if you haven't had the chimney cleaned, there could be a dangerous layer of creosote building up that could cause a fire.

It's better to be safe than sorry, as the adage states. Always instruct your children on proper fire safety, get your chimney cleaned and inspected every year, and make sure that you have proper procedures articulated to your entire family about heating your home via the fireplace.

Powers Chimney & Masonry, LLC can help you by scheduling an annual cleaning/ inspection. Call us today for more information: (360) 691-9828.

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