Fireplace Safety Tips Everyone Should Know
It is important to address fireplace safety rather than simply looking forward to staying cozy by the fire in winter. Risks are associated with the open flames in fireplaces and wood stoves. To avoid disaster, follow basics in fire safety, such as the fireplace safety tips that follow and that everyone should know.
Tips on Fireplace Safety
A first rule of thumb for making sure you and your family can enjoy your fireplace with no regrets is to follow manufacturers’ instructions. There may be certain guidelines for your particular heating appliance outside of the general fireplace safety tips that follow:
Open The Damper
Always open the damper before lighting a fire, and never use any type of combustible fluid to stoke a fire in your fireplace.
Check The Condition Of Your Chimney
Before lighting that first fire of the season, ask yourself whether you are confident of the condition of the chimney. If a chimney inspection has not been performed since the previous winter, various problems may have occurred, one of the most dangerous of which is an obstruction in the chimney flue. Scheduling annual chimney inspections is a crucial safety matter according to fire safety experts in the US that are all in agreement on this issue.
Schedule A Chimney Cleaning
If you are unsure whether the creosote buildup in your chimney flue is at a dangerous level, it is time to schedule chimney cleaning before lighting a fire. Creosote increases the risk of a dangerous chimney fire. Also, an excessive buildup of creosote is a leading cause of chimney obstructions.
Use Seasoned Firewood
Use the only type of fuel that is safe in a wood-burning fireplace, and that is seasoned firewood. It usually takes between 6 and 12 months for moisture to sufficiently dry out of firewood. Seasoned firewood has a moisture content of 20% or less.
Contact An Expert
If there is not a proper chimney draft, try to figure out what the problem is so that it can be resolved. Contact chimney sweep experts for help, as needed. An insufficient chimney draft results in more toxic fumes entering the home, which can be a threat to health. The cause of a poor chimney draft could be something as serious as a deteriorating chimney liner. If the liner is cracked and deteriorating, the heating appliance should not be used again until the liner has been repaired or replaced. Two of the dangers associated with a damaged liner are exposure to toxic fumes and an out-of-control house fire.
Use Safety Procedures When Cleaning Fireplace
Use recommended safety procedures to clean out ashes from the fire pit on a routine basis. With too much ash buildup, fires cannot get the amount of air needed for both efficient fires and strong chimney drafts. Safety with ash removal involves placing the ashes in a non-combustible container and, when finished, placing the ash bucket outside of the home and away from combustible materials on a non-flammable surface until any remaining hot embers have cooled.
Contact us at Mercer County Chimney Service for chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, chimney repairs, and any other needed chimney services. We care about our customers and would be happy to answer questions and provide any other fire safety tips that may come to mind. Call us today at 609-802-5288.