If you have a fireplace, you need to know some of the basic fire safety rules to keep your property as well as yourself and your family safe. This especially important when the winter is brutal and seems like it will not ever get warm… like now. We’re currently looking at the next full week of single digit temperatures, so your heat pump will really welcome the assistance your fireplace can provide. Let’s look at some very important fire safety tips now.
The first step for any homeowner when it comes to fire safety is to maintain their chimney and fireplace. It is important to have your chimney and fireplace cleaned by a professional at least one time per year. Even if you have this done, when winter nears, it makes sense to call me at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service to check that everything is okay.
Also, make sure that there is a cap on your chimney. The cap will prevent animals or debris from falling in and creating a blockage. This can cause smoke and odors to be trapped inside the house rather than escaping through the chimney as they should. Blockages create a very dangerous situation as carbon monoxide and smoke will enter your home.
It is also necessary to develop good fire prevention habits to keep your family safe. You should never light your logs with petrol or similar flammable liquids. Even if you feel tempted to do so, never leave paper, books or other items such as decorations close to the fireplace. They may become the unwilling victim of a popping ember and end up catching your home on fire.
It is also a good idea to use a screen in front of the fireplace to prevent sparks from blowing out and igniting paper or even a rug. While glass screens are good, even a wire mesh screen is better than no screen at all. Screens also protect children and animals as they seek the warmth of the hearth on cold winter nights.
Finally, never use green wood in your fireplace. It is best to buy wood that has been cut and dried for at least six months where possible. Moist or green wood produces a lot of smoke as well as a residue inside the chimney called creosote, which can be dangerous.
Protect your home as well by storing wood for the fireplace properly and some distance from the house. You should also follow the instructions of your chimney sweep or installer on stacking wood in the fireplace and how much to use at any one time. When you know that you have done all you can to ensure safe chimney use, you can relax and enjoy the warmth of home. If you are not too sure that your chimney and fireplace are as safe as you would like, give me a call at 61-626-2439. I will examine your chimney and fireplace and help you with any corrective work needed.