Romance gone up in flames: Chimneys being banned in homes

Less people will be sitting by the chimney this Valentines Day.

For many years the Irish economy relied on an open fire to heat their homes. Although since the late 19th century most people replaced the chimney with alternative energy sources.

With any open flame inside the home, safety precautions must be taken very seriously to prevent any accidents. Whether this be a chimney or a candle, never leave a lit flame unattended and keep furniture well away.

The ban on chimneys however is not to prevent fires in the home. It is part of the European Unions climatic obligations.

According to the Irish Times, new building regulations introduced in 2014 have effectively banned the open fire from newly built homes. This is an attempt to comply with European Union energy performance and building directives, which aim to have zero-energy buildings by 2020.

Without any legislation, chimneys are becoming less and less common in the home. A large amount of apartments being built and chimneys no longer being used by homeowners means less chimneys.

There are still a huge amount of chimneys in Ireland, whether they are being used or not. They are now seen as old fashioned and used as a comfort rather than a necessity.

Yet many people associate chimneys to love and romance. Many films have used an open fire to create passionate scenes between two people and even studies show the love of the hearth is deeply ingrained in the human psyche and born out of evolution. This is according to a study by anthropologist Christopher Lynn of The University of Alabama, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology.

Future generations in Ireland may never see a fire in the home due to the new laws and as old homes become renovated.

An open fire or chimney is also supposed to create calmness for the human brain. A TV station in Norway broadcast a six-hour programme of wood burning, which attracted more than one million viewers. Netflix has three similar videos of wood burning in an open fire.

Click here for the full article in The Irish Times.

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