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Keep the Homefires Burning - Safely

Keep the Homefires Burning - Safely
We are all spending more time at home this winter... On cold winter evenings, a warm blanket, a mug of hot chocolate, and well-equipped fireplace are all you need for a cosy night in. 

However, a fireplace brings more than comfort. According to Fire Prevention Canada, fire kills nearly 400 people a year nationwide, residential fires causing 73% of those deaths. With winter here, it’s important to be aware of fire prevention and what your insurance policy covers. 

Fireplaces and wood stoves create a nice setting for homeowners to relax with loved ones and help heat their homes. Unfortunately, they can also add to serious fire risks, but taking simple measures can help avoid traumatic situations. 

The following pointers can help to ensure that your fireplace remains a place of enjoyment in your home:  

  • Get your fireplace ready: To avoid fire and smoke damage make sure that the damper opens and closes properly. If your chimney hasn’t been cleaned in a while, call a chimney sweeper.  
  • Throw out flammable materials: Clear the area next to your fireplace of all flammable items including newspapers, carpets and fabrics. Even a small spark of fire can quickly spiral out of control.  
  • Stay equipped: Install smoke detectors throughout your home. Time is of the essence when dealing with fires and a smoke detector can help avoid major disasters.  
  • Fireplace accessories: Invest in a few good tending tools. These can be used to rotate logs, ensure oxygen flow and clean up ashes – small steps that go a long way in fire prevention.  
  • Check your insurance policy: Know your insurer’s guidelines and coverage so there are no surprises if you need to file a claim for damage. For example, many companies only cover fire damage if fireplaces or woodstoves are installed professionally.
Following these simple tips can help ensure that your fireplace only leaves your family with pleasant memories this season. For more information, Fire Prevention Canada has a long list of safety tip fact sheets available, or contact your insurance broker for more info.