Now that summer has ended and we are heading into the cooler temperatures of fall and winter, it is time to get the fireplace ready to be used. Before lighting the first fire of the season, it is important to think about using this heating appliance safely. When you follow certain safety practices, you greatly reduce the risk of experiencing a residential fire or a carbon monoxide leak into your home. To remind you about the safe operation of your fireplace, Blue Ridge Chimney Services would like to share with you some fall safety tips for your chimney and fireplace from Popular Mechanics.
Have your chimney professionally swept and inspected.
The best way to avoid hazardous fireplace and chimney-related situations is to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection before fireplace season begins. Our expert sweeps at Blue Ridge Chimney Services will lower your risk of having a chimney fire by cleaning out all of the accumulated creosote deposits from your chimney. We will also inspect your chimney for any damage and/or flue blockages to prevent problems from occurring this fall and winter.
Choose seasoned firewood for your fuel supply.
This type of firewood has been dried for at least six months and will give you cleaner and longer lasting fires. When you burn wet or green wood, you will have a problem with large amounts of creosote accumulating inside your chimney. Additionally, never burn treated wood, paper, or your Christmas tree in your fireplace.
Keep the area around your fireplace clear from combustible items.
Having items like curtains and furniture too close to the fireplace can be a fire hazard. To be even safer, place a metal mesh screen in front of your fireplace (if you do not have glass fireplace doors) to keep hot embers from jumping out of the fireplace to ignite a fire in your home.
Never overload your fireplace.
You want to burn small fires to keep your chimney from cracking. Burning too much wood at a time can also lead to a rapid development of creosote deposits.
Install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home.
You will want to be sure you have these lifesaving alarms installed on every level of your home and inside and outside each bedroom. Replace the batteries whenever you change your clocks to and from Daylight Savings Time.
Have questions about using your fireplace safely? Contact us at Blue Ridge Chimney Service to find out more safety tips for your chimney and fireplace to prevent fire hazards this fall and winter.