Factory built fireplaces are subject to the same types of safety rituals as a brick and mortar fireplace, but today we’re going to dig more deeply into specific things you need to do to maintain safety. Make sure that all members of the household have read and understand safety measures involving the fireplace and the chimney as well. Everyone can watch the fireplace for potential dangers and discuss ways to keep the household safe while enjoying a nice warm fire.
- The Damper: The damper is the part of the fireplace that controls the oxygen flow and allows smoke to escape. It must be fully open before a fire is started and left open until it stops burning.
- The Load: Don’t overload the fireplace. An overloaded fireplace doesn’t breathe efficiently. It will not produce the heat you’re looking for by increasing the amount of wood, and it won’t last longer simply because there’s more wood to burn.
- The Wood: Always use well-seasoned wood. Never burn wet wood in the fireplace.
- The Screen: Keep the screen closed while a fire is burning. Fireplace screens keep embers from popping out and landing on carpeting, pets, children, furniture, or anything else within range.
- The Doors: Close the glass doors when the fire is almost out to prevent heat loss.
- The Fuel: Use only wood or gas logs that are designed for your factory built fireplace. Never use liquid fire starters such as gasoline, kerosene, or lighter fluid.
- Do Not Burn Paper: Paper burns hot in large amounts, so don’t do away with holiday or birthday wrapping paper in the fireplace. This risks damage to the joints of the chimney.
- Replacement: Do not replace your factory built fireplace with a wood stove if it becomes damaged or stops working properly. Wood stoves require a concrete base and proper clearance in order to be safe and pass code.
- Maintenance: Annual inspection and cleaning is recommended by the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) and the National Fire Protection Association. This is not written in stone, and it is not a law by which you must abide. It is simply a safety measure that will help ensure that your unit is working properly and that there is less of a risk of chimney fire.
Homeownership comes with a lot of requirements. If children could understand what they’re in for when they become adults, they wouldn’t be pushing so hard to get older, right? For now, it’s your responsibility to keep them and your home safe from harm by following the rules of adulthood. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA certified chimney sweeps. Make sure to plan to do other responsible things during our scheduled meeting as well; like change the batteries in the smoke alarms and the carbon monoxide detectors. That way we can get it all taken care of so you’re ready to face this winter with a nice reliable fireplace, clean chimney, and alarms that will alert you to potential hazards.