Warm Up With Your Fireplace Safely this Fall
Cozying up to a warm fire is one of the best things about fall. There is a potential catch, however. A first seasonal fire often results in a dangerous home fire due to lack of chimney maintenance. Safety should always come first when using open flames for indoor heating. To help ensure fireplace safety, check out the following information and tips, including input from the experts at Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).
According to the CSIA, the main job of professionals in chimney services is to help prevent fires and emergencies involving carbon monoxide in connection with fireplaces, heating stoves, and other solid-fuel heating systems. The work certified chimney sweeps are trained to do includes installing, cleaning, maintaining, and inspecting such heating appliances and chimney systems.
Annual Chimney Inspections & Cleanings
Every year, fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected, regardless of the type of fuel used. Cleaning is also recommended annually by the experts at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Annual inspections and cleanings accomplish the following:
Debris that could cause blockage in the chimney is cleared out. Branches, dead leaves, animals, and animal nests are among the culprits that cause obstruction in the flue liner. Toxic fumes, including deadly carbon monoxide, will enter the home if gases can’t escape through the chimney.
Creosote is removed during chimney cleaning. Creosote is highly flammable byproduct materials from wood fires that adhere to the interior walls of your chimney flue. If a spark causes built-up creosote to catch fire, the intense heat and flames can spread to the rest of the house.
When you schedule a chimney inspection, a certified chimney sweep will check the chimney system from top to bottom, looking for cracks and signs of excessive wear. The biggest enemy of chimneys is moisture, and chimney technicians can recognize the subtle signs of a chimney leak. Moisture intrusion causes a wide range of problems and costly damage, including formation of mold and damaged masonry that will crumble if not removed and replaced.
Use the Right Fireplace Fuel
Another essential rule in fireplace safety is to burn only the correct fuel for your fireplace. Never burn treated or painted wood because it contains chemicals that give off toxic fumes into the home. Never burn plywood or pressure-treated wood, either, for the same reasons. Burning green wood should always be avoided, as well. Green wood is full of moisture, and fires with fresh-cut wood are excessively smoky because they are highly inefficient and produce an increased amount of pollution and creosote deposits in the chimney.
Fires should only be started with black and white newspaper pages and dry kindling, sticks, or pinecones. Burn only firewood that has been seasoned, which means that it has low moisture content. Firewood should be stacked outside and allowed to dry from sun and wind for six months to a year, depending on the type of wood.
When to Call Experts at Burlington Fireplace & Heating
If you’ve done your due diligence to keep your chimney and fireplace well-maintained, potentially dangerous issues could still arise. Contact the certified chimney sweeps at Burlington Fireplace & Heating if any of the following occurs:
- You suspect there has been a chimney fire.
- Fireplace smoke is entering your home.
- You’ve seen flames coming out of your chimney.
- A strong odor is coming from your fireplace.
Call Burlington Fireplace at 262-763-3522 for chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, chimney maintenance, repairs, masonry rebuilds, and above-mentioned chimney emergencies that threaten fireplace safety.