Even though most adults will have thoughts of burning themselves with their own fire, accidents can still happen. If your home has children, the elderly, or the sick, a fire extinguisher can greatly reduce the chance of injury from a fire. From 2017-2019, the US Fire Administration (USFA) reported that insulation fires, which include chimneys, flues, and oil burners, caused 77% of home heating fires. In the December 2021 Topical Fire Report Series, the USFA also shares that overheating is the second leading cause of all home fires and is responsible for approximately 165 deaths, 600 injuries, and $367 million in property damage annually in the United States alone.
In addition to fire hazards, traditional fireplaces also pose other health hazards. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), smoke from improperly burned wood contains hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and particulate matter. Additionally, it shares that while it would take high levels of particulate pollution to damage human lung tissue, it can be dangerous at low levels for children, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems.
Some of the health effects of wood smoke pollution include coughing, shortness of breath, asthma, and heart disease, among other health issues. For pet parents, an electric fireplace can also protect your pets, who have stronger smell receptors than humans.