(Family Features) Whether you’re constructing a new home or simply redesigning your current living space, there are many considerations that can truly make a house a home.
Amid budget considerations, design vision boards, specs and blueprints, amenities like a new fireplace can allow homeowners to celebrate the warmth, comfort and ambiance a fireplace or other hearth product can provide. In fact, 7 out of 10 of homeowners have a fireplace and usage has increased during all four seasons since 2020, according to research from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), showcasing that including a fireplace in your construction or renovation plans is a gift to yourself and your family.
“When we’re designing our ideal homes, too often we may only think about what we want others to see and enjoy when they visit,” said Jack Goldman, president and CEO for HPBA. “The reality is visitors account for less than 1% of your in-home time. A fireplace is for you and your family, a personal addition that serves you and your household in more ways than you may realize.”
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Consider these four benefits of including a fireplace as part of your next home update:
- It can be a sanctuary from the ever-changing world outside. As people continue to spend more time at home, a fireplace can serve as a source of calm and relaxation, helping you and your family escape from the challenges daily life may throw your way.
- It’s an artful piece of decor to display year-round. Whether it’s a centerpiece for your living room or family room, or an accent to your bedroom, bathroom or study, a creatively designed fireplace can provide an artful design element for your home, no matter the season.
- It’s a safe, reliable heating source. A fireplace is an extra layer of security when weather wreaks havoc and can provide safe, reliable heat and lighting in the event of a power outage.
- It can be the heartbeat of your home. Between screen time, remote work schedules and commitments to extracurricular activities, many families experience fragmented home lives. A fireplace, though, can serve as a central gathering spot for you and your loved ones when together.
To learn more about the benefits of fireplaces and find a nationwide directory of specialty retailers and certified installers, visit HPBA.org/House-warming.
Fireplace Safety Tips
Whether it’s the warm glow of the fire, the crackle of the wood or the deep penetrating warmth, woodburning fireplaces have a way of making people feel relaxed and at home. However, there are some precautions that should be taken to ensure safe operation:
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
- Keep small children and pets away from the fireplace.
- Clear an area of at least 3 feet around the fireplace of furniture, books, newspaper and other potentially flammable materials.
- Inspect gaskets, door seals and the chimney annually.
- Have the chimney professionally cleaned as necessary to ensure it’s clear of obstructions and creosote.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Utilize fireplace tools to tend the fire.
- Never burn garbage, rolled newspaper, charcoal, plastic or chemically treated or painted wood.
- Avoid using gasoline or any liquid accelerant to help start a fire.
- Do not overload the fireplace to avoid burning wood or embers tumbling out.
- Never close the damper until embers have completely stopped burning.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images