A fireplace can be a desired aspect in any single-family rental home in Riverhead. But fireplaces also constitute a few 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 appreciate your fireplace and stay safe simultaneously, it is vital to obey some basic fireplace safety rules.
The most common reason a fireplace causes a house fire is due to creosote buildup or obstructions in the chimney. In the long run, wood-burning fires produce 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. Other challenges like 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, and obstructed chimney could cause dangerous fumes to vent into the home. Either scenario is particularly damaging for you and the home’s other tenants as well.
To avoid these and other problems, there are several important steps that you should follow. 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 the flames. This can cause 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 break bricks, dissolve 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.
Then, make sure that you supervise the use of your fireplace carefully. For both gas and wood fireplaces, never leave the fireplace lit unsupervised. It is imperative to have an updated fire extinguisher nearby and to make sure that you regularly change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If your fireplace has an operating manual, keep it in an accessible location for easy reference. Never come too close to the fireplace while it’s lit and be careful and observe your pets meticulously to avoid burns and injuries.
Lastly, you must check with your property manager or landlord to see if the fireplace is being regularly inspected and cleaned. An amazing property manager will make sure that a fireplace is checked systematically to make sure that it is in good working condition and ventilating correctly. To be safe, it is urgent to remember that pilot lights, valves, and sensors are working correctly and that you perceive how to utilize your fireplace correctly. If your landlord gives you materials on fire safety, read through them carefully before attempting to use your fireplace. For tenants, honoring appropriate fireplace safety is an important part of keeping you and your possessions out of harm’s way.
Fed up of undertaking it all by yourself? Why not give Real Property Management Landmark a call? It doesn’t matter if you own one rental home or a lot, our target is to protect and maximize your real estate investment. Strengthened by over 30 years of nationwide experience, our team of Riverhead property managers is here to assist rental homeowners to maximize rental income while minimizing expenses and inefficiencies. Contact us online or give us a call at 516-522-2859 today.
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