There’s nothing more pleasant than the crackling sound of a warm fire to set the ambiance of a cool and cozy winter night. However, enjoying a fire requires diligent maintenance of your fireplace, and we’ve compiled some fireplace safety tips to help keep it that way.
- Don’t Use Chemicals
- Never use chemical fire starters like gasoline, kerosene, or charcoal starter.
- Use the Right Wood
- You may think wood is wood… it will burn. Not the case! Use dry wood because it burns more completely and longer than wet, rotten, or moldy wood. Wet or moldy wood can also cause more soot buildup in the chimney.
- Make sure you choose the right type of wood. Different types of wood burn differently, according to Direct Energy. Oak and other hardwoods generally burn long and hot. Softwoods, like pine, will burn fiercely but not very fast.
- Keep Your Fireplace Clean
- It’s incredibly important to maintain a clean fireplace because it creates better airflow and cleaner burning.
- Have the Fire Extinguisher Handy
- This may seem like a no-brainer, but just know where it is!
- Make Sure Your Chimney is Functioning Properly
- Check for loose or cracked brickwork, and have it repaired as soon as possible. The longer you let it sit, the worse it can get.
- Cut any lingering tree limbs hanging over your chimney because they can be a fire hazard.
- Make sure your chimney cap and cap’s mesh are intact.
- Check the Damper
- Double-check that the damper or flue is open before starting the fire to draw out any smoke from entering the house. Don’t close it until the fire is completely out and no longer burning.
- Clean the Ashes
- Always clean the ashes from previous fires! The ash bases should never exceed one inch or the air supply for the logs will become restricted, causing more smoke.
- Keep the Surrounding Area Clean
- This may seem obvious but move any flammable objects away from the fireplace. Things like furniture, drapes, etc. could easily catch fire.
- Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
- If you know you’re going to be burning fires during the whole winter season, go ahead and be on the safe side and have your homeowners insurance policy updated. We’re not saying anything will happen, but it’s good to just be covered for the ‘just in case’ moments of life.
- Be Proactive
- Have a professional inspect your fireplace once a year to help prevent any issues or problems with your fireplace.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test them monthly and change the batteries once a year.
Enjoy the glow of the fire this year, but just remember to take the proper precautions before you do so! If you have questions about your policy coverage or want to speak to an agent about your homeowner’s insurance, please reach out to us!
Source: Direct Energy