We’ll be providing you with chimney and fireplace safety tips for your benefit.
While there are several benefits, there are also risks involved with chimney and fireplace use. There’s a long list of measures aimed at limiting hazards associated with fireplaces and chimneys.
Chimney and fireplaces experience the most use during the winter months.
This is when the weather is coldest. Now both chimney and fireplace are connected and work interdependently to heat homes and expel combustion gases.
Safety Tips For Chimneys and Fireplace
You can never be too careful when it comes to adopting safe practices. This need for safety is greatest during the winter months when chimneys are used the most. So what are they?
They include the following;
Keeping Chimneys and Fireplaces Clear
Keeping your chimney and fireplace clean, is a basic safety requirement to adhere to.
For this to be effective, you’ll need to check both indoors and outdoors. For indoor environments, it’s important to keep an eye out for all combustible items close to the fireplace.
Get these as far away as possible from your fireplace. These include curtains, decorations, picture frames, papers, and flammable liquids among several. This action reduces the chances of combustion.
With these combustible items out of the way, it’s time to move outdoors.
Tree limbs or branches may extend close enough or pass over your chimney. These are known to shed their leaves, thus adding or depositing debris within and around the chimney.
It’s necessary to have these trimmed to allow for free space.
Only Use Seasoned or Dry Wood
Whenever you use firewood that hasn’t been completely dried, it creates a problem. Creosotes and soot are known to build up faster within your fireplace due to excess smoke being produced.
With dry or seasoned firewood, such problems are avoided entirely.
Keep a Clean Fireplace
One of the things that add or increases inefficiency in a fireplace is the presence of excess ash.
As long as this isn’t cleared, it will prevent airflow, thus affecting combustion in the process. It’s necessary to always clear out excess ash.
Proper disposal of fireplace ash is also important to prevent starting a fire.
Have a Fire Extinguisher on Standby
Fire extinguishers are among the must-have safety gadgets to have around your home. It’s important to always keep one or more close by in cases of emergency. Sometimes, fireplaces left open could spit or shoot out embers.
These may ignite fires especially when there’s no one within the immediate vicinity.
Rather than panicking, a fire extinguisher kept close by can be used to arrest the situation before it degenerates. There may be no need to call the fire service.
Replace Faulty Chimney Caps
Chimney caps serve an important function as they help prevent moisture and rainfall from getting in. Apart from rainfall, chimney caps will keep snow and leaves from getting in.
A lot of potential problems are avoided by having a chimney cap in place.
So, what happens when it gets faulty? You guessed right! All of the issues mentioned above are likely. Rain, snow, debris, and animals are likely to get in. Your chimney is likely to develop problems.
Have a Spark Arrestor Installed
A spark arrestor is a vital addition to a chimney and serves as a safety measure against fire sparks.
Such sparks or rising embers are riskier on windy days where they can be easily blown and ignited when they come in contact with leaves.
With a spark arrestor, that is unlikely to happen. Spark arrestors are made of fine mesh that allows incoming air to support combustion while keeping out animals, and debris.
More importantly, it traps sparks and fire embers within the chimney.
Always Use Fireplace Doors and Screens
It’s important to always close your fireplace doors when the lights are on. In place of doors, fireplace screens can be placed to prevent access to the area by kids.
Fireplace doors and screens also prevent fire sparks from getting on combustible materials.
Be Careful How You Dispose of Ashes
Ash disposal can be quite risky when it’s not done properly. Sometimes, live embers can remain buried within ash for days. Disposing of such ashes indiscriminately can easily ignite real fires that can wreak havoc.
It’s important when disposing of ashes to sprinkle sufficient water.
This serves to douse any live embers that may remain unquenched. Also, the container used for ash evacuation shouldn’t be combustible. A metal container will perfectly serve this purpose.
As basic as this safety measure looks, it does a lot to prevent potential fires.
Maintain an Inspection Schedule
Issues are most common with chimneys and fireplaces which aren’t frequently inspected. With inspection, the main objective is to detect faults or issues soon enough and have them fixed before they worsen.
In a nutshell, this process seeks to maintain the high performance of a chimney and fireplace.
Given its many benefits, it’s important to maintain a yearly inspection schedule. You should consult with a chimney service on the acceptable frequency of chimney inspections.
This safety measure will be beneficial in the long run as it extends your chimney and fireplace lifespan.
Immediately Fix Faulty Chimney Masonry
Over time, chimney masonry is known to develop lots of issues due to its constant exposure to harsh weather forces. Among common problems are cracks, weakened mortar, spalling and so many others.
Upon noticing such issues, it’s necessary to immediately.
Have a chimney service come around to take a look at the structure. With professional assistance, your chimney is brought back or restored to perfect functioning.
Avoid DIY Chimney Cleaning Approach
A DIY approach to chimney cleaning isn’t advisable. There are lots of hazards associated with the job including the possibility of slipping and falling from the top of your roof.
Professionals come with all sorts of safety equipment in addition to basic tools for the job.
Another advantage chimney sweeps have going for them is their level of expertise and experience. These all combine to guarantee their high success rates on chimney cleaning jobs. Admit you aren’t as prepared and allow them to get the job done.
These chimney and fireplace safety measures are some of the basic actions to observe. You want your chimney in top shape while also keeping your family safe from any chimney-related accidents.