A fireplace is a great way to warm your home on cold winter days. Fireplace safety is essential if you want to enjoy the warmth of a fire without the risk of hazards. Here are a few safety and maintenance tips to help you keep your fireplace in safe working condition.
Regular Inspection & Repair
Fireplaces, like every other part of your home, are prone to wear and tear over time. That’s why it’s essential to inspect your fireplace every year in the fall. Before using it to warm your house, make sure the fireplace is safe.
When inspecting a fireplace, look for cracks, debris, and creosote build-up if you have a wood-burning fireplace. Creosote is a by-product of burning wood and it collects on the inside of the chimney. Hire a professional chimney sweep to clean the chimney once a year to remove creosote.
If you identify problems with the fireplace, you have the option of repairing it yourself or hiring a professional for the job. Should you opt to DIY, choose fire-resistant products and materials.
Proper Ventilation for Fireplace Safety
When building a fire in your fireplace, open a window to allow for good airflow. This will help prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide in the room. Also, install a carbon monoxide detector in the room with the fireplace.
It’s important that there is enough air circulation in the house before lighting a fire. Most importantly, open the damper to allow smoke and exhaust gases out of the chimney and reduce downdraft from strong gusts of wind.
Clean the Chimney & Firebox
Cleaning the chimney is especially important if you have a wood-burning fireplace. It’s common for debris to find its way into the chimney or animals to nest inside. Cleaning the chimney removes anything that could ignite from sparks and floating embers.
Similarly, removing ash from the firebox after every use reduces the chances of corrosion and damage. Otherwise, when left to sit in the firebox for long periods, ash and soot will degrade your fireplace and reduce its efficacy.
Fireplace Safety for Kids
If you have young children at home, invest in fireplace safety equipment. You might use a screen cover or glass door to protect young children from an open firebox.
Fortunately, there are plenty of safety devices for sale that you can easily install to make the fireplace safer for children.
Fireplaces are functional additions to any house, which is why it’s essential to make sure they’re maintained appropriately.