How Far Should Furniture Be Away From a Fireplace for Fire Safety?

Written by stacy zogheib
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How Far Should Furniture Be Away From a Fireplace for Fire Safety?
Keep furniture and other flammables at least 3 feet from a fireplace. (Finnish fireplace image by Adrian Hillman from Fotolia.com)

Many people love the image of a roaring fire in a fireplace. It brings to mind memories of cosy nights spent gathered around the fire reading or playing games. However, fireplaces can be dangerous and proper furniture placement is important to ensure that a fireplace fire does not spread to furniture and get out of control.

The Michigan State University Extension recommends that furniture and all flammable materials be placed at least 3 feet from the centre of a fireplace. This reduces the chances that something will catch fire and spread through the house.

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Fireplaces Can be Risky

Regardless of how careful people are, there is always a chance that a stray spark can lead to a fire.

To minimise the risks be sure to take appropriate safety precautions. Make sure that there is a fire screen and fireproof hearth materials to stop sparks from flying. Walls can also be coated with fire resistant materials. Drapes, paper, furniture and other flammables should be kept at least 3 feet away from the fireplace.

How Far Should Furniture Be Away From a Fireplace for Fire Safety?
A small spark can start a dangerous fire. (burning house image by ivp from Fotolia.com)

Bottom Line

A fireplace can be a safe, comforting and convenient asset to a home provided that users take appropriate safety precautions. Keep all furniture, drapes and any other flammables at least 3 feet from the centre of the fireplace. Have the fireplace cleaned regularly and keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Install smoke detectors in each room of the house. These safety precautions will help to assure that the fireplace is a safe asset to the home.

Keep a working fire extinguisher near the fireplace.
Keep a working fire extinguisher near the fireplace. (fire image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com)

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