You can have a perfectly-maintained fireplace, appliance, and chimney and still experience accidents because of carelessness and bad habits. It’s important to treat the fire as it is—a dangerous element that can destroy your home, and cause illness and death.
Keep these things in mind while managing your fireplace this winter season:
- Never burn anything but proper wood in your fireplace. Burning wood that is too wet can cause an incomplete burn which leads to more creosote in the chimney system and more particulate matter in and around the home. Trash is often too light to burn in your fireplace, and can fly up the chimney while ignited, causing a flue fire. Burning trash and other debris also adds more particulate matter because of incomplete burn.
- Use the damper properly to control the flame and drafts. The damper can also help when you’re lighting your fire.
- Never use any type of fuel to light your fireplace, except for manufactured fire logs. If you have trouble lighting fires in your fireplace, consider building a top-down burn. It also helps to remove excess ash and debris from the fireplace.
- Never leave the fire unattended. A fireplace is generally used for supplemental heat and isn’t used after you leave the house or you go to bed. To protect your home and family, make sure the fire and coals are completely out before leaving the house.
- Protect your face, hands, and arms by investing in proper fireplace accessories such as leather gloves and eye wear as well as tools like a shovel, brush, and hook. Each tool features a long handle to protect you from burns . These tools make life somewhat easier.
Maintain Your Chimney and Fireplace
The easiest way to stay safe this winter season is to keep your chimney system working properly. When your chimney works properly it is working safely. It’s when the updraft is compromised and ventilation is failing that real problems can start, including carbon monoxide poisoning and flue fires.
To avoid the hazards of using a chimney system that is unsafe, you should keep up with your regular service appointments. These include regular chimney sweeps, and annual chimney inspections. At these appointments a certified chimney sweep will assess and recognize issues and risk factors that exist in your chimney system. An inspection will keep your chimney operational. Once the chimney is clean, your fireplace should heat efficiently, should vent well, and should be easy for you to operate safely. Also, after the inspection, your inspector should offer a detailed report and repair plan to get you back to working order.
It’s time to light those fires. The days are shorter, and the nights are growing cooler, and as you’re operating your fireplace this season, practice safe habits to protect your home and family.
For more information about your fireplace or to schedule your chimney sweep or inspection, call Brickliners today at 802-872-0123 or request an appointment online.