Fireplace Safety for Apartments or Rental Units

Fire-place-safety-property-managementOnce again, we welcome one of our team members – Rhoda Hu – to the Property Management 2.0 Blog. Happy November, everyone! -Trevor #WinterIsComing


With cooler temperatures upon us, now is the time of year that many enjoy snuggling up by the fireplace to keep the cold away.  We, at First Light Property Management, would like to caution and remind all of our landlords and residents the importance of fireplace safety tips to prevent any avoidable hazards and accidental fires.

Let’s work together to keep all warm and safe this winter. 

  • Fireplaces should be cleaned before the temperature dips.  Fireplaces in apartments are smaller and are not as sturdily built as the ones in homes and can be much more destructive if a fire is out of control.
  • Make sure that all combustible and flammable materials are a safe distance from the fireplace to prevent ignition of these items.  Heat will linger & items such as holiday decor, trees, curtains and furniture placed w/in the vicinity will burn rapidly.
  • Keep the damper open to allow for gases and smoke to escape.
  • To prevent sparks from flying, make sure to use the metal mesh screen and glass doors & inlets open when the fire is burning to prevent smoke build-up.
  • Never use flammable liquids such as gasoline, charcoal lighter fluid, kerosene or alcohol to start a fire in your fireplace.
  • When using manufactured logs, burn one at a time.  Keep in mind that smaller fires have the ability to burn completely and produce less smoke versus larger ones that burn beyond their capacity.
  • Never soak rolled paper of any kind in flammable liquids to ignite a fire.  This is extremely dangerous and can cause a strong flare up.
  • Avoid wearing loose or flowing clothing
  • Make sure to keep a fire extinguisher close by and ready for use.
  • Burn only quality seasoned wood, like oak, maple, etc. Certain woods, such as Pinon, are highly discouraged because a flammable, tar-like residue coats the inside of the fireplace flue after being burned.
    Do not burn paper, plastic, trash or other similar combustible material – this will burn rapidly.
  • Make sure that your smoke detectors are in functioning properly and placed near the fireplace and bedrooms.
  • Do not allow young children and pets near the fireplace.
  • Store firewood far away from the fireplace.  The firewood can attract termites and cause damage to other wooded areas.
  • Dispose of ashes by soaking the debris in water in a tightly sealed metal container & then placing it outside.  Ashes can smolder for up to 2-3 days after a fire stops flaming.
  • Most importantly, never leave a fire unattended.  Do not leave a fire burning when you leave your home or go to sleep.  The fire needs to be extinguished.

Keep it safe out there, #multifamily!  -Rhoda Hu, First Light Property Management, Inc.