Even though the weather in Hickory doesn’t get extremely cold like other parts of the country, there’s nothing better than cuddling up in front of a fireplace on a cold, winter night. As we’re entering the coldest months in North Carolina, residents of The Legends luxury apartments may be piling extra wood into the fireplace more regularly. And while we love that we are able to provide this amenity, and we’re happy that you can enjoy additional warmth in your home, a fireplace is a feature that needs to be used with care and attention. So before you get your fire going, here are some simple tips to ensure that you, your Hickory apartment, and your belongings are safe and secure.

Apartment Fireplace Safety Tips

Smoke Alarms

As a part of The Legends regular maintenance, we test all of the smoke alarms in our apartments and make sure that the batteries are working properly. However, all residents should be aware of where the smoke alarms are located, and all it takes is a quick glance to see the red light signaling that they are set and ready to go in the event of a fire.

Keep the Area Clear

A basket of blankets and lounge pillows near the fireplace is about as cozy as winter decor gets, but the area surrounding a fireplace should be kept clear of any flammable items. Sparks can fly out of the fireplace and land on a blanket, increasing the risk of a fire occurring. If you do keep these items near the fireplace, make sure there is at least three feet of space in between.

Use a Screen

Whether you keep items around the fireplace or not, it’s important to always have a screen covering the opening. Mesh screens will keep sparks from flying out into the apartment. If the fireplace doesn’t have a screen, contact The Legends apartment staff and we’ll make sure that your fireplace is ready for a hot fire.

Clear Away the Ash

The more frequently you have a fire going, the more ash that will accumulate from the burned wood. Not only does ash create a fire hazard, but it can quickly get messy and can make your apartment smell like a fireplace — and not in a good way. Every week to every couple of weeks, clean any built-up ash on the floor of the fireplace. When cleaning ash, make sure the fireplace is completely cool and use a sturdy container to transport the ashes to the trash.

Understand the Parts

There is one very important part to a fireplace that is essential to use correctly when you have a fireplace in your luxury apartment. This part is the damper, which is an opening that allows smoke to travel up and out the chimney, instead of into your apartment. It also works to seal cold air out when the fireplace is not in use. Make it a habit of opening the damper before you start a fire.

Never Use Gas to Start the Fire

Even though it’s incredibly convenient and easy to start a fire with gas or other flammable liquid, vapors from the liquid can explode. To start your fire, use a lighter with a long tip so you can keep your hands as far away from the flame as possible. Place crumpled up pieces of paper or cardboard below pieces of wood and use the lighter to start the paper on fire. The flame should then spread to the logs. And remember to use the screen!

Never Leave the Fire Unattended

If you have a fire going, try as much as possible to stay in the room to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. If you need to run to the kitchen to make another cup of hot chocolate or to the bathroom, that should be fine. However, if you need to be out of the room for longer than 15 to 20 minutes, it may be best to simply put the fire out. Even though it’s cozy, you should never go to bed with the fire going.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher

In the event that a fire does start, a fire extinguisher is your first defense against it spreading or causing serious damage or injury. Make sure the fire extinguisher is easy to access and read the directions so you understand how to use it before it’s necessary.

A fireplace offers a variety of benefits, including a lower heating bill, a cozy environment, and it looks great! But it does require some maintenance and responsibility. Some of the apartments for rent at The Legends come with a fireplace, and we love the warmth they create. If you have any questions about fireplace maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact our staff.

If you’re looking for a luxury apartment for rent in Hickory with fantastic amenities and friendly staff, check out The Legends! View our spacious floor plans and schedule a tour today!