As winter is quickly approaching, it is time to start regularly using your fireplace or wood-burning stove. However, certain safety preparations and measures should be taken into consideration for cold weather. Blue Ridge Chimney Services would like to tell you more winter fire safety information concerning wood-burning stove and fireplace. We know the importance of educating our customers to help them prevent disasters like a house fire or a carbon monoxide leak. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln have listed several essential safety tips for fireplace and wood-burning stove users to prevent hazardous occurrences this winter.
Preferably before the winter season begins, schedule an annual chimney sweeping and inspection.
This tip ranks high in fire safety importance because having your chimney swept and inspected before regular usage will guarantee your chimney is free from hazardous and combustible creosote deposits. A natural residue from the byproducts of combustion, creosote forms during the condensation process, sticks to the interior walls of your chimney, and builds up deposits. One of the main causes of chimney fires, creosote deposits can easily ignite if the internal flue temperature reaches a high enough heat. A pre-winter chimney inspection is equally important to check the components of your chimney to see if any essential repairs are needed to ensure the safety of your chimney.
Install glass fireplace doors or place a metal screen in front of your fireplace.
Glass doors and metal screens can prevent fires by keeping hot sparks and embers inside your fireplace instead of jumping out into your living space and possibly causing a fire. If you do not like the look of glass doors but want something more effective than metal screening, you can also use a glass grate to completely close off the fireplace. These protective doors, screens, and grates also prevent objects from falling into the fireplace and keep small children and animals away from the fire so that they do not get burned.
Keep all flammable items away from the area that surrounds the fireplace.
Just in case a hot spark should jump out of your fireplace, you should be sure the area around the hearth is clear from furniture, curtains, and carpet. Wood-burning stoves should not be installed near flammable surfaces. You may want to consider a hearth built from non-combustible brick or linoleum.
Burn the right type of firewood.
The most important thing to remember when you are choosing firewood is to only buy seasoned wood. This firewood has been dried for at least six months and will burn cleaner and better than freshly-cut wood with a high water content. You can choose different species of wood depending on the type of fire you desire. If you want a beautiful burning flame, select cottonwood, elm, or maple. If you want warmth, choose sturdier and thicker woods like oak and ash. Just be sure the wood has been seasoned.
Want to learn more fire safety tips for the winter? Contact Blue Ridge Chimney Services by clicking here to find out other ways you can prevent hazards during the coldest time of the year.