Using a fireplace is one way to reduce energy consumption to heat your home. It is essential that the fireplace and chimney stay in good shape for same use. Below are five ways to prevent chimney fires and stay safe this winter.
Burn Dry, Cured Wood
The condition of the wood you burn will add or detract from the potential for a chimney fire. A steady build-up of creosote and high-temperature fires are a deadly combination with a fireplace. Wet, fresh-cut wood tends to produce more creosote that coats the lining of the chimney. The combustible nature of creosote makes this a dangerous mix. Use appropriately cured, dry wood for your fireplace.
Never Burn Garbage In the Fireplace
There is no way to know what types of chemicals will build up in your chimney by burning random trash. It may seem like a harmless activity, but you can end up with even more combustible material that will start a chimney blaze.
Clean the Fireplace Between Uses
Stacking new wood on top of spent coals and ash will produce a higher temperature fire. The dramatic increase in temperature is all that is necessary to begin burning the creosote build-up on your chimney pipe walls. Take the time to clean the old ashes and debris out before lighting a new fire.
Have the Fireplace Professionally Inspected and Cleaned Annually
Things can happen during the year to render your fireplace unsafe to use without necessary repairs. Have the fireplace inspected to ensure safe operation. Take the opportunity to have the fireplace and chimney cleaned. Professional chimney sweeps will remove all of the built-up creosote.
Put Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Near the Fireplace
Carbon monoxide is a colorless gas that has no smell but is incredibly deadly to breathe in. Keep and maintain detectors for smoke and carbon monoxide for the safety of you and your family. You will be alerted in time to exit the home and call 911 for emergency assistance.
Contact a professional DC chimney sweep like 301 Chimney and have your fireplace inspected and cleaned today!