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Fireplace Safety Tips for Golden Valley Tenants

Warm and Cozy Fireplace in the Center of a Modern Living RoomA fireplace can be a welcome feature in any single-family rental home in Golden Valley. But fireplaces also create some unique risks to renters. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireplaces are the leading cause of home fires in the U.S., causing nearly 500 deaths and over $1 billion in property damage every year. To fully enjoy your fireplace and stay safe at the same time, it is crucial to adhere to several basic fireplace safety rules.

The most common reason a fireplace causes a house fire is because of creosote buildup or obstructions in the chimney. Over time, wood-burning fires create a thick layer of soot and ash, called creosote, on the inside of the chimney walls. If not properly cleaned, this material can ignite, causing significant damage to the property and threatening the safety of everyone in the home. Additional problems, such as dead leaves, bird nests, or falling bricks can block the airflow in the chimney and cause sparks to fly out into the room, possibly igniting rugs, nearby décor, or furniture. In the case of gas fireplaces, an obstructed chimney could cause dangerous fumes to vent into the home. Both of these circumstances are gravely hazardous for not only you but also for your occupants if you have any.

To avoid these and other problems, there are several important steps that you should take. First, use only the recommended types of fuel for your fireplace. For wood-burning fireplaces, that is dried and well-seasoned wood free of any chemicals or accelerants. For gas or electric fireplaces, never put anything in flames. This can often end up in showers of sparks and hot ash capable of starting the house on fire. Chimney fires can become as hot as 2000°F, hot enough to crack bricks, melt metal, and catch your attic, siding, and roof on fire. Correct use of your fireplace is one of the best ways to avoid such dangers.

Next, make sure to supervise the use of your fireplace carefully. For both gas and wood fireplaces, never leave the fireplace lit unsupervised. It is crucial to keep an updated fire extinguisher nearby and to make sure that you regularly change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. In the event that your fireplace has an operating manual, keep it in an accessible location for easy reference. Stay far away from the fireplace while lit and be sure to keep any pets as far away as possible to avoid burns and accidents.

In conclusion, you must check with your property manager or landlord to see if the fireplace is being regularly inspected and cleaned. A quality property manager will have a fireplace serviced periodically to guarantee that it is in good working condition and ventilating correctly. To stay safe, it is important to know that pilot lights, valves, and sensors are working correctly and that you know how to operate your fireplace correctly. If your landlord gives you materials on fire safety, read through them carefully before attempting to use your fireplace. For tenants, adhering to proper fireplace safety is an important part of keeping you and your belongings out of harm’s way.

Don’t want to waste time doing it yourself? Why not give Real Property Management Northern Arizona a call? It doesn’t matter if you own one rental home or several, our goal is to protect and maximize your real estate investment. Backed by over 30 years of nationwide experience, our team of Golden Valley property managers is here to help rental home owners maximize rental income while minimizing expenses and inefficiencies. Contact us online or give us a call at 928-757-7368 today.

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