Fireplaces can be comforting and cosy, but they can also be dangerous. Here are some of the dangers with fireplaces and what you can do to minimise the risk of personal injuries.
Common dangers with fireplaces
Sparks: A crackling fire may cause sparks to fly. If these sparks are allowed to land on carpeting, they can all too easily cause a fire. It is therefore vital to always have a suitable guard in front of your fire to prevent anyone being injured by fire.
Blocked chimney: A blocked chimney will allow smoke and subsequently carbon monoxide to billow into your home, significantly increasing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Having your chimney cleaned every year before lighting your first fire will ensure this does not happen, eliminating one of the common dangers with fireplaces.
Damaged flue: If your flue has been damaged by masonry in the chimney breaking off, heat stress or water infiltration, it may not protect your chimney adequately against smoke and heat. This, of course, could eventually lead to a chimney fire. Looking out for signs of damage and, if necessary, having such damage repaired immediately is therefore of utmost importance.
Creosote build-up: Burning fires will eventually result in a build-up of creosote on the walls of your chimney. Highly flammable, creosote can cause chimney fires, as well as having the capacity to prevent proper venting, which in turn again may cause carbon monoxide to be released into your home. Again, signs of such a build-up must be looked out for and dealt with as quickly as possible by having the chimney cleaned.
Chimney deterioration: Over time, wind, rain and frost will eat away at the mortar on your chimney. Eventually, this may cause the chimney to become unstable and represent a very real risk of injuries by falling objects, such as pieces of mortar and bricks. Bits of masonry that have fallen onto a pavement could also cause trip injuries. Regular maintenance of your chimney brickwork is subsequently a must.
Home owners have a legal duty to prevent slips, trips and falls and other accidents, including those caused by the dangers with fireplaces, on and around their premises. This includes preventing injury by falling masonry.
If you had a slip, trip or fall or where hit by masonry or mortar falling off a chimney, the responsible home owner may be held liable to pay your personal injury compensation.
Accident Advice Helpline public liability claim specialists have over 15 years’ experience in securing compensation for people like you. Contact us now on 0333 500 0993 from your mobile, or 0800 689 0500 from a landline, to learn more.
Date Published: August 1, 2016
Author: Accident Advice