Prepare for Safe Fireplace Use Now
Fall is right around the corner, and if you have a fireplace, you probably can’t wait to use it. Now is the perfect time to get your fireplace ready for the first day of cool weather. This article goes over the best tips for safe fireplace use.
Hire a Chimney Sweep
Your chimney should be swept every year between the last use of the winter and the first use of the fall. If your chimney has not been swept yet this year, schedule a visit from a professional chimney sweep. The chimney sweep will remove creosote and soot buildup. Both are flammable and can start a chimney fire, so a chimney cleaning is an important annual step for safe fireplace use.
Install a Chimney Cap for Safe Fireplace Use
A chimney cap keeps leaves, twigs, and nests from landing inside your chimney and creating a fire hazard. If you don’t already have a cap on your chimney, install one before the fall and winter. Most professional chimney cleaning services will do this for you. While they are on your roof, they will inspect the chimney and note any damage that needs to be repaired.
Stock Up On Seasoned Hardwoods
Firewood should be seasoned or left out to dry for at least 6 months before burning it. Freshly cut wood releases too much smoke when burned and increases the amount of creosote deposited on the chimney walls.
Don’t Burn Too Much Wood at Once
Refrain from starting a huge blaze in your fireplace. Safe fireplace use means keeping fires small and contained. Don’t throw combustibles like paper into the fire and never use lighter fluid in your fireplace.
Use a Spark Guard for Safe Fireplace Use
Every fireplace should have a spark guard. It could be a screen or glass doors, but there should be some barrier between the open flames and the rest of your home. Place a fireproof hearth mat in front of the fireplace in case a rogue spark does fly out.