Many people forget to take care of the fireplace during the cold seasons. Don’t make it easy, to always feel safe.
Although several warnings have already been given about the care for the fireplacetheir use continues to be indispensable in some homes, especially on days when the cold is felt more intensely.
However, it is necessary that you know what exactly these risks are, so that you can avoid them and thus save your health.
Smoke coming from burning wood is one of the reasons behind the need to be careful with your fireplace as it contains some nasty chemicals. The release of toxins, including benzene, cyanide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), affects the air and thus harms your lungs.
carbon monoxide poisoning
This is one of the hardest hazards to detect, as carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. Exposure to even a small amount of this burning fuel can affect your body’s ability to carry oxygen to your cells, which can be fatal.
Carbon monoxide can thus poison and asphyxiate human beings, or else cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and loss of consciousness. To avoid this danger, you should install carbon monoxide detectors in your home and move away from the fireplace.
Beware of Asthma Sufferers
If you have this health problem, you need to be aware of the possible symptoms of an asthma attack when you are near a fireplace. Particles that become airborne from burning wood can increase breathing difficulties.
Regular use of the fireplace is equally bad for people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This form of heating is not beneficial for any type of respiratory problem, as the most important thing is to maintain the quality of the air in your home.
can cause bronchitis
Studies claim that even short-term exposure to smoke from burning wood can lead to the development of acute bronchitis. When exposure is regular, there is even a risk of developing chronic bronchitis.
Lung cancer risk
The likelihood of getting lung cancer may increase with fireplace use. A study published in by Environmental Health Perspectives states that those who use the fireplace more often have a greater risk of developing this cancer, since the smoke released by burning wood can permanently damage the lungs.
What decides to burn makes the difference
The list of safe objects that can burn in the fireplace is very short, but there are some that should really be avoided as they create more carbon monoxide, such as wet or painted wood, plastic, paper with color printing, cardboard and the Christmas trees.
Pay attention to what’s around the fireplace
Anything near the fireplace can heat up and release toxins. Do not leave plastics and chemicals or cleaning products near heat, as they can be toxic or flammable when heated.
Have one closed fireplace at home mitigates the dangers that it can cause to your health, in addition to reducing the risk of fire, as there is no possibility of flying sparks.
If possible, check whether the installation this type of heating is being done correctly, as it is essential that the smoke channeling is well executed. To do this, hire a specialized professional to carry out the work.
When lighting a fireplace, check if smoke is invading the space where you are instead of going up the chimney. If this happens, it is a sign that the chimney is not well cleaned, which will make the air you breathe more toxic and lethal.
One of the precautions to be taken with the fireplace is related to the firewood used, which must always be dry before being burned, as if it is wet it will create more carbon monoxide. Do not light the fireplace with alcohol, as it can cause a dangerous fire. Another way to avoid high flames is to add firewood gradually and not in excess.
At the end of the cold season, an inspection of the fireplace should be carried out, as well as a new cleaning of the chimney.
What to do in case of intoxication
All these precautions to be taken with the fireplace must be carried out to mitigate the fact that people remain in hermetically closed places during their use, which leads to intoxication, as the quality of the air decreases with the gases released with the burning of the fireplace. wood. That’s why you shouldn’t sleep with the fireplace on unless you have the window open.
If you come across someone suffering from gas poisoning such as carbon monoxide, you should quickly open the windows of the space where they are located to provide them with as much oxygen as possible, or quickly take them outside.