Ready Your Fireplace For Winter
Posted on 11-29-2016
Winter is almost hear, and you will more than likely be counting on your fireplace to help heat your home, giving your room that cozy glow on those cold, snowy nights. It's important to take some steps before putting your fireplace in use to keep your home and family safe this winter.
Fireplaces and chimneys make up for nearly 42 percent of home-heating fires. Follow these safety tips to get your fireplace ready for the cold months ahead:
1. Chimney Sweep
They are not just in Mary Poppins; certified sweepers are important to your chimney's readiness by removing debris and soot that has accumulated over time. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that your chimney be swept at least once a year before the winter months. In addition, a sweep should involve checking for damage to your chimney structure. Also, have chimney liners inspected for cracks or decline.
2. Chimney Cap
Repair or replace a damaged chimney cap. A chimney cap with wire mesh sides is important for keeping birds, squirrels, debris and rain out of your chimney.
3. Use Seasoned Hardwood
Purchase dense wood that has been split and stored in a cool, dry place for at least six months (oak is a good choice). Avoid using resinous softwoods such as pine as they create creosote that builds up in your chimney.
4. Stack Small and Right
How you place the logs in your fireplace is an important step in fire safety. Always place logs on a metal grate that is positioned at the back of the fireplace. Do not use too many logs or stack too high. A fire that is too high produces more smoke and heat that will likely crack the chimney. Use kindling to start the fire and avoid fluids as a fire-starter.
5. Guard It
To keep embers from popping out onto floors and carpet, make sure your fireplace has a fitted mesh screen or glass doors. This is very important for safety measures when the room becomes unoccupied for any amount of time. Be sure to always keep children and pets away from a fireplace in use even when glass doors are in place.
A fireplace can certainly help in keeping the heating bill down during the winter months, and by following these safety measures every year, you will have a safe, cozy and warm winter for you and your family.
Did You Know?
Natural gas was formed deep under the earth about 100 million years ago.