One of the best ways to enjoy winter is to cozy up next to the warmth of your fireplace. But if you don’t take the proper safety measures, your fireplace can become more of a safety hazard than a comfort. Before you light the first log, make sure you’ve followed these important fireplace safety tips for this winter.
Check the Fireplace
Your chimney should be thoroughly inspected before you use it. First, check the inside of your fireplace by shining a flashlight up the flue. You want to ensure that the flue lining is not cracked and that the damper opens and closes securely. Any issues should be repaired immediately to avoid releasing dangerous toxic chemicals into your home.
Inspect the Chimney
Don’t forget to climb up on the roof to check the state of the chimney outside. Look at the flashings around the chimney to ensure there is no corrosion or cracks that could let water in. Also, use your flashlight to look for any build up of creosote or glaze – a brown and black by-product or a tar-like substance – both are toxic and highly flammable.
Give a Thorough Cleaning
Before cleaning, use a drop cloth to seal up around the fireplace so that soot and debris won’t scatter into your room. Then start cleaning from the top of the chimney, with a long brush to dislodge any ash or creosote buildup. You should also use a vacuum hose to clean up any loose materials. When back inside, remove the drop cloth and clean up any soot and debris inside and around the fireplace with a broom and vacuum.
Use Only Seasoned Firewood
Use only seasoned firewood in your fireplace that is dry enough to burn well. Even quality wood will not burn properly if it has not been seasoned. The higher the moisture level, the more soot and creosote buildup will occur.
Keep Wrapped Gifts Away
Wrapping paper, gift boxes, and Christmas trees are highly flammable. If you like the look of a fully stocked Christmas tree by the fireplace, ensure you place it at least 3 feet away to avoid an unexpected fire. Also, never put these materials into the fireplace – they often contain toxins and carcinogens that can become airborne or cause a fire inside your chimney.
Have Smoke Alarms Installed
Before using your fireplace, always ensure that you have the proper fire prevention in place. Utilising a professional service, such as Bee Alarmed, to properly install and maintain your smoke alarms means you can feel confident that you’ll be notified instantly if a fire or carbon monoxide leak ever occurs. Bee Alarmed can ensure you have the right number of fire alarms required by law, that they are set up in the proper positions, and are given the proper testing.
Enjoy lounging by the fireside once you know it’s safe and hazard free. Contact us today and let us help you install your smoke alarms so you can enjoy a safe and cozy winter season.