A fireplace keeps you warm and cozy during colder weather. Fireplaces help heat our homes and provide a relaxing atmosphere. Be sure to follow these fireplace safety tips so that your fireplace is safe throughout the colder months of the year.
To keep your fireplace in great shape, regular maintenance is essential. Take the time to check the fireplace and chimney to make sure it’s safe to start a fire.
Hire a Professional Chimney Sweep
Professional chimney sweeps have the tools and experience to clean your chimney safely and thoroughly. A chimney sweep will remove leaves, animal nests, creosote, and other debris that has built up inside your chimney.
Fireplace Safety: Prune the Trees
Check above your roof and near your chimney for overhanging tree branches. Trim tree branches away from your house. This will prevent them from falling and causing damage to the roof. Keeping the trees pruned away from the chimney also prevents them from catching fire.
Check the Chimney Cap
A chimney cap is a piece of metal that fits over the top of your chimney. It helps to prevent leaves, sticks, pine needles, and other debris from falling down into your chimney. The cap also helps keep the rain out and wind from blowing smoke back down the chimney. Make sure your chimney cap is in good condition; if it’s not, install a new one.
Burn the Proper Wood for Fireplace Safety
When purchasing firewood, make sure the wood is well-seasoned. The best firewood has a low moisture content of below 20%. Seasoned wood will burn cleaner, producing less smoke and less creosote build-up. Don’t burn trash, including newspapers, magazines, and cardboard. These materials release toxic chemicals and small pieces may float up into the chimney and ignite, starting a chimney fire.
Open the Damper
Before building the first fire of the season, check your fireplace damper to make sure it opens and closes completely. The damper regulates the airflow through your chimney and fireplace. It needs to be open to allow smoke from the fire to flow out of your home.
Clear Away Ashes
Ashes that have built up in the fireplace affect the airflow. Use a fireplace broom and metal shovel to collect the ashes, leaving an inch or so in the bottom of the firebox.
When it’s cold outside, a fireplace generates warmth and a cozy environment to spend time with your friends and family. Follow fireplace safety guidelines to keep you, your family members, and your property safe.