Fireplace Safety

Fireplace Safety

Visual Inspection of Fireplace – Inside and Out

Visual Inspection of Fireplace – Inside and Out

Defining Types of Fireplaces

Defining Types of Fireplaces

  	Choosing Firewood and Laying a Fire in a Fireplace

Choosing Firewood and Laying a Fire in a Fireplace

Lighting and Tending a Fire in a Fireplace

Lighting and Tending a Fire in a Fireplace

How to Properly Extinguish a Fire

How to Properly Extinguish a Fire

Fireplace Maintenance Guidelines

Fireplace Maintenance Guidelines

Important Fireplace Inspection Rules

Important Fireplace Inspection Rules

Fireplace Maintenance Guidelines

Fireplace Maintenance Guidelines

How to Properly Extinguish a Fire

How to Properly Extinguish a Fire

Lighting and Tending a Fire in a Fireplace

Lighting and Tending a Fire in a Fireplace

  	Choosing Firewood and Laying a Fire in a Fireplace

Choosing Firewood and Laying a Fire in a Fireplace

Defining Types of Fireplaces

Defining Types of Fireplaces

Visual Inspection of Fireplace – Inside and Out

Visual Inspection of Fireplace – Inside and Out

Fireplace Safety

Fireplace Safety

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

Celebrating Safely With Fireworks

Celebrating Safely With Fireworks

Family Fire Escape Plan

Family Fire Escape Plan

Fire Safety and Burn Prevention

Fire Safety and Burn Prevention

Fire Safety - Home Escape Plan

Fire Safety - Home Escape Plan

Fire Safety and Burn Prevention - Cooking

Fire Safety and Burn Prevention - Cooking

Fire Safety - Electricity Burns

Fire Safety - Electricity Burns

Fire Safety - Candles

Fire Safety - Candles

Burn Prevention - Hot Water

Burn Prevention - Hot Water

Fire Safety - Gasoline and Accelerants in Your Garage

Fire Safety - Gasoline and Accelerants in Your Garage

Fire Safety - Winter Fire and Burn Risks

Fire Safety - Winter Fire and Burn Risks

Fireworks Safety

Fireworks Safety

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United States Fire Administration

United States Fire Administration

www.usfa.dhs.gov  

301-447-1000

America's fire death rate is one of the highest per capita in the industrialized world. Fire kills 3,700 and injures more than 20,000 people each year. Firefighters pay a high price for this terrible fire record as well; approximately 100 firefighters die in the line of duty each year. Direct property losses due to fire reach almost $11 billion a year. Most of these deaths and losses can be prevented!

In fact, America's fire losses today represent a dramatic improvement from more than 20 years ago. In 1971, this Nation lost more than 12,000 citizens and 250 firefighters to fire. Acting to halt these tragic losses, Congress passed P.L. 93-498, the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act, in 1974; it established the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and its National Fire Academy (NFA). Since that time, through data collection, public education, research and training efforts, USFA has helped reduce fire deaths by at least half - making our communities and our citizens safer.

How to Properly Extinguish a Fire

Rob Neale, Deputy Superintendent of the United States Fire Administration, talks about how to properly extinguish a fire.

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Rob Neale: Hi! I am Rob Neale, Deputy Superintendent of the United States Fire Administration, in Emmitsburg, Maryland. We are talking about how to build a fire and fireplace safety. We are going to talk about how to maintain a fire once you get it going.

We have had this nice fire burning for a little while, and as you can see, it's starting to die down a little bit. So how do we get it back up to where we want a nice roaring fire that will keep us nice and warm? We always need to have a set of tools nearby that will be very handy for us to use. This particular toolset, you can buy it at any hardware store or you could buy it at a Home & Hearth store. But make sure you get a good solid set. Now, this particular set comes with four tools. The first is a little broom, and the purpose of the broom is simply to sweep excess ash or embers that might have died out, back into the fire pit. The second tool is a poker; it's got a little hook on it for moving the logs around. In fact, I am going to use it right now to help us with this fire. You will see the fire starting to die down a little bit; we have got lots of char on the wood and some charcoal building up in there. If I take the poker and give it a good smack, you will see that it opens up the logs and exposes more of the embers to the oxygen that's in the air. And that's what helps get the fire going nice and bright.

Now, the third tool that comes in very handy is a set of thongs. I certainly don't want to reach into the firebox and get myself burned, so I can use this pair of thongs to grab this log right here, set it up there, right where I want it.

At this point, we can add more dry seasoned wood to build that fire up. One of the things we want to be careful of though is, not to build the fire too big. Part of the good efficient burning is to make sure that there is lots of air circulation around in the firebox. So if we over stuff that firebox, we can decrease the effectiveness of the fire, to the point where it will actually burn itself out.

Now that we have had the fire burning a while, we want to put it out. We don't want to leave this fire like this, because that's a dangerous situation. So how do we control it? Well, with the simple tools that we have, we can take this poker and we can open up the fire like this, and that will help get rid of some of that immediate burning. And you will see that it starts to die out very quickly with that. But another trick that I might want to use is get a little spray bottle. Little water spritzer and spray a few little sprays of water in there, right on the flames, right on the wood, and that will cause the fire to dampen down and eventually go out.

Once the fire is out, then we will be able to take out those excess ashes, and we will be able to dump them outside, in a very safe environment. Now, don't ever take those ashes out and put them in a paper bag, don't ever put them in a cardboard box. What you need to do is get yourself a metal can, a little shovel, a metal shovel, like is included in this particular toolset, and you can scoop out those ashes and put them into that metal container and take them outside, away from the house. So don't ever leave this fire unattended, make sure that it's out, all the way out, when you get ready to leave. So in our next segment we are going to talk about some of the things you can do to maintain your fireplace in a safe operating condition.