Winter evenings by the fireplace: how to make it cosy and safe

Can't wait until it finally gets really cold? So that you can light the fire? We totally understand that! The risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning is lurking around the corner, but it does not have to spoil the fun. Thanks to these tips, you can enjoy a crackling fire with peace of mind.

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Fire-safe chimney

A safe chimney is a clean, well-maintained chimney. So do not light a fire in your fireplace until you are sure that it is technically in order.

How do you give the hot smoke free passage to the outside?

  • Light the fire with thoroughly dry wood, of a kind that contains little resin. This pollutes the flue less. And it burns better too! Oak, birch, beech and apple trees are made from the right wood.
  • Ensure that there is sufficient draught in the chimney. Check regularly that no leaves or bird's nests have ended up in the chimney. Especially after not using the fire for a long time. A chimney cap - popularly known as a 'crow cap' - is well worth the money.
  • Check whether there are any cracks in the chimney flue. This prevents toxic gases from escaping and entering your living room.
  • Have your chimney cleaned by a specialist at least once a year.

Safe by the fireplace

  • Have a bucket of sand ready: you never know when you might have to put out the fire.
  • Ventilate the room as soon as the fireplace is lit. This ensures that your fire burns better and it prevents carbon monoxide poisoning. Don't worry: you don't have to sit in front of the fire with a wide-open window in the middle of winter. A small window ajar or an open ventilation grille will do.
  • Sparks are also fire. And they are less innocent than they seem. So keep flammable materials far away from the fire: blankets (especially fleece!), cushions, magazines... A fireguard or spark arrester is no luxury either.
  • Stay in the area until the fire is completely out. Smouldering wood can also rekindle and cause a fire.

Help, my chimney is burning!

The right reaction can save lives. Keep these steps in mind as soon as you light the chimney.

  • Never extinguish with water! Water immediately turns into red-hot steam that can rupture the chimney flue. Sand is a better extinguishing agent, a damp sheet is also possible.
  • Close off the air supply to the fire as much as possible, using the chimney flap and any doors on the fire.
  • Is the fire out? Only then! - open windows and doors to allow toxic smoke to escape.
  • Meanwhile, call the fire brigade on 112.
  • Go outside!

There, you are all set for long, cosy winter evenings in front of the fireplace. Are you still worried about the safety of your home or your fire insurance? Then we are here for you.

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