8 Fireplace Safety Tips
- Due to the rise of the price of natural gas and propane, old fireplaces have become a savior from high home-heating bills this winter. Still, before you light up the logs, be careful that fireplaces and chimneys are involved in 42 percent of all the home-heating fires. That is why, it is important to make sure that your fireplace and chimney is up to the required standards to keep everything safe. Follow the tips bellow for a safer fire.
- The first thing that you should do is hire a chimney sweep. It is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association that homeowners perform a chimney sweep at least once every year at the beginning of the winter so that the soot and debris are removed. Use Chimney Safety Institute of America to find a certified sweep in your area.
- The second step is to look for damage. Not only should you have your chimney cleaned, but the chimney sweep should also inspect the chimney structure for any cracks, loose bricks, or missing mortar. The sweep should also check for cracking or deterioration.
- Then, you have to check the chimney cap. A cap that is fitted with wire-mesh sides would cover the top of the chimney. It is important to keep rain, birds, squirrels, and debris from entering. If the cap is missing or damaged, you should immediately replace it or repair it. Also, you need to burn seasoned hardwoods.
Fireplace Safety Tips To Ensure No Mishaps
- Choosing dense wood is essential. Your choice should be wood such as oak, that’s been split and stored in a high and dry place for at least six months. Any green wood and resinous softwoods such as pine would produce more creosote, a flammable by-product of combustion that can build up in the chimney.
- Remember not to overload. The smaller the fire is, the less smoke it generates. This would also mean less creosote buildup. In addition, a too large or too hot fire can crack the chimney.
- Make sure that you build your fire right. Put a metal grate at the rear of the fireplace where you place logs. Use kindling, rather than any flammable liquids, to start your fire.
- Finally, use a spark guard. Have a mesh metal screen or a glass fireplace door to prevent errant embers from shooting out of the firebox. A guard in front of an open flame is so important especially when there is no one in the room.
There you have it. Following these steps is your “surefire” way to a safe fire in your fireplace. Any other tips need mentioning?