Now that we’re well into the winter months with blustery storms bearing down, it’s a great time to put your feet up and sit by the fire. More than likely, you’ve already been keeping your home warm and cozy with your fireplace for the last few months so let’s make sure it’s performing at peak function to continue keeping you safe and warm.
Let’s start with a few wood-burning fireplace tips:
- Have your fireplace and chimney inspected by a professional on a yearly basis. Ash and creosote can build up in your chimney and if not cleaned properly could cause damage to your home.
- This may seem like an obvious tip, but make sure your damper is open while your fire is burning and until it’s completely burned out.
- When starting your fire, make sure not to use flammable liquids like lighter fluid. These liquids can release toxic fumes and could even cause an explosion.
- Make sure to only burn wood or manufactured logs in your fireplace. Different coated papers, greenery, and other materials can produce harmful gases that can spread throughout your home.
- Use a metal screen or appropriate fireplace cover to keep embers inside the fireplace and out of your living room.
- Finally, always keep a fire extinguisher in a convenient location in case something happens to go awry.
While gas fireplaces are much more low-maintenance than wood-burning fireplaces, it’s important to follow these few tips for keeping your home safe:
- Just like a wood-burning fireplace, schedule yearly maintenance to make sure your fireplace is performing as it should.
- Make sure you have a safety screen, and that the screen is intact with no cracks or imperfections.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless but is poisonous so it’s important to know right away if you have a leak.
- Warn members of your household, especially kids, that the glass/screen can get very hot and that they should keep a safe distance.
- Finally, even though gas fireplaces don’t emit wood embers, it’s important to keep highly flammable materials like fabric, paper, wood, etc. away from the fireplace.
Now, sit down and enjoy your fire, knowing that your home is safe and protected.