Fireplace Safety Tips
As the weather turns cooler, it is a special treat to have a wood burning fireplace in your home. This is if the fireplace has been well maintained and works properly when you light it. Here are some maintenance tips for your fireplace this winter
Hire a Chimney Sweep
It is recommended that you get your chimney cleaned and swept out once per year. This clears it of any additional debris and also is a good way to address any problems that may be going on in your chimney. Hiring a professional for this job is probably the best idea as it requires special tools.
Install a Chimney Cap
The cap provides several benefits, including: it prevents water from entering the chimney when it rains, causing costly water damage; a chimney cap with mesh will prevent animals from getting into your chimney and nesting or getting stuck and dying; a chimney cap can prevent other types of blockage, all of which can cause deadly carbon monoxide to enter the home; a spark arrester can help prevent hot embers and sparks from escaping onto the roof or other combustible materials.
Check your chimney and fireplace for any damage.
Before lighting your first fire of the year take some time to look around your fireplace inside and out and notice any changes that may be questionable. If you find damages, hire a wood stove expert to come and address your chimney.
Leave a layer of ash when you clear out your chimney
When you clean out ashes from the firebox, leave at least one inch of ash, which acts as insulation. The ash will allow coals to heat more quickly and will also allow them to retain heat longer.
Watch out for sparks
Place a rug that is non-flammable in front of the fireplace so that if sparks escape, they won’t do any damage to your floor or carpeting. This comes in handy for those embers that you aren't expecting to come out of your fireplace. They will burn your flooring quickly and before you can grab them safely. Or better yet, install non-flammable tile or stone flooring in front of your fireplace. Tile/stone is also easier to clean up if any ash is spilled!
And as always, if you do have a fire-related incident, do not hesitate to call your local SERVPRO® Franchise at 541-745-2097!