Currently, most Spanish homes have a heating system for cope with the colder winter months. However, when this type of installation did not exist, fireplaces took center stage, now being a complement that brings elegance to comfort to any home. And there is nothing like lighting the fire, sitting in front of it and reading a good book or tasting a cup of hot chocolate, among other winter plans.
However, in front of these advantages there are also some risks that should be highlighted. For example, the famous sweet dead, linked to fireplaces, braziers or stoves that accumulate too much dirt and cause poor combustion of waste. This phenomenon of dire consequences is mainly based on the inhalation of carbon monoxide, which causes the stoppage of the alert system that prevents us from realizing what is happening and, subsequently, the adherence of said substance to hemoglobin that carries oxygen.
Weakness, headache, tiredness, nausea or loss of consciousness are some of the symptoms that accompany this problem, which takes barely 30 minutes to wreak havoc in the body. In this sense, it is important to know that, despite what many think, sweet death does not produce a choking sensation or suffocation, rather an involuntary paralysis that makes it difficult for us to ask for help.
To avoid this outcome, it is important that turn off the fire at bedtime, that is, you must maintain an exhaustive control of it. Another way to know if the combustion is correct is to look at the color of the flame. If it looks yellow or orange instead of blue, you will need to open the windows and put out the fire. Especially when it occurs in a gas fireplace. In fact, even if the fireplace works properly, some experts advise always leave a gap so that the air can flow and the gases do not accumulate.
What other aspects should we take into account when use our fireplace safely? Take note and enjoy this luxury!
Keep your surroundings tidy
It seems obvious, but sometimes we are not aware that some sparks or embers can reach the objects around the fireplace. Therefore, if you do not have a screen or security system that avoids this problem, you must leave a safe distance between this heat source and the furniture next to it. Experts advise delimiting a perimeter of between 50 and 80 centimeters, both on the sides and in front. Especially with flammable items such as rugs, plants, or tablecloths.
If in winter you use the fireplace too often, do not forget that you must clean and condition it thoroughly after each use. Besides putting out the fire with ash or a little water, to ensure that there are no burning embers left, you must check that the duct does not have traces of resin or creosote, as this substance can cause flames inside. Also, from time to time you should check that this conduit not plugged with soot, another flammable substance, or that the smoke outlet is fully operational.
If you are not used to doing it, you can always hire the services of a specialist.
How to light the fire correctly
The way you light the fire is also important, as is the type of wood you use to warm yourself. For example, the first thing to keep in mind is that the wood must be completely dry, since it produces less resin and reduces the risk of fire. On the other hand, harder woods with higher calorific value they also generate less of this substance and make less smoke. At the same time, they are more durable and heat more effectively.
In this group we include holm oak, eucalyptus, oak or beech. And don’t forget that said pieces must not be treated, that is, neither painted nor varnished.
When lighting the fire, although both techniques speed up the process, It is not advisable to use products that increase combustion and much less gasoline. You only need large pieces of firewood, several chips or smaller firewood, matches and, if necessary, some ignition tablets. It will take you longer, but it is safer.
Where to store firewood
Did you know that if wood is stored in the wrong place loses its fuel power? In this sense, its main enemies are humidity and pests. In the first case, the best way to prevent this environment is to store the wood in a place with good ventilation and that is not leaning on the floor or walls. Hence the importance of resting on a special surface that, in addition, ensures their grip, which also prevents possible collapse.
However, the most unpleasant thing is the appearance of a plague, which can even spread to the home. Experts advise spray an insecticide on the logs every two weeks. Of course, be very careful not to get intoxicated during the process and keep your grandchildren and your pet away to avoid greater evils.