All types of wood and coal burning house fires pose a risk if you have small children. If you’re planning on lighting the fire it is best to know how to keep your family safe, what to set up in order to avoid burns and what to do to avoid any fires getting out of hand.

Follow these handy tips to keep your children safe around your home fires:

  • Keep a window open slightly whilst the fire is burning, this will keep air circulating around the room and prevent any overheating.
  • Always check the flue or damper is open before you start your fire. Ensuring it is open will draw smoke out of the house. Do not close it until the fires embers have stopped smouldering.
  • Use well aged, dry wood. Wet or green wood will create a lot of smoke and will cause a build up of soot in your chimney. Dry wood burns evenly and produces much less smoke.
  • Use smaller pieces of wood as they burn faster and release less smoke.
  • Always clean out old ashes from the grate before starting a new fire. A thick layer of ash can not only restrict the air flow and make a fire difficult to light, but can also produce a lot of smoke.
  • Make sure the area around the fireplace is kept clear of any objects that are flammable. Furniture, curtains, newspapers, books and children’s toys can catch fire if left too close, and plastic items can melt under the intense heat.
  • Never leave your fireplace unattended, especially if you have children in the house. Ensure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house. Try and avoid lighting it if you know you will need to leave the house at any point and there is no one to tend to the fire.
  • Place a safety screen around your fire so children wont accidentally burn themselves on the hot glass or metal.
  • Make sure all your fireplace tools and accessories are out of reach of small children. Also, make sure all matches and lighters are stored well out of harms reach.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand in case of an emergency.
  • Communicate with children from an early age, the dangers of fires.

Next time you visit your local coal merchants, you can ask them for more information on child safety around home wood and coal burners.