While a fireplace provides a wonderful gathering spot for your family, its chimney needs proper care and upkeep to ensure your fireplace is completely safe for your family to enjoy. Year after year, there are cases of chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Prevention of these incidents is easy with regular maintenance. See below for a few tips:
Tips for Preventing Chimney Fires
Throughout the course of the year, debris such as leaves and twigs can fall into the flue. These objects could potentially ignite and cause a chimney fire. Another substance to check for and remove is creosote. Creosote is an oily, sometimes tar-like, substance that can accrue as your fireplace is used. This buildup blocks airflow through your chimney and is highly combustible, creating ideal conditions for a chimney fire. A chimney sweep should check your chimney to ensure the removal of any debris or creosote before beginning to use your chimney for the season. Additionally, your chimney liner should be assessed. Over time, the liner can become cracked and deteriorate. These weak spots in the liner can allow embers to exit the chimney and enter combustible areas of your home such as walls or roofs.
Know the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can build up
due to improper ventilation, faulty fireplaces, and associated structures. CO can cause dizziness, headache, vomiting, and confusion. Prolonged exposure or high exposure can lead to passing out or death. To prevent CO poisoning, install a carbon monoxide detector along your smoke alarm on each level of you house, especially near bedrooms. If you use space heaters, only do so in well-ventilated areas. Always make sure the chimney dampers are opened before starting a fire. Lastly, hire a professional to clean and inspect your chimney annually to ensure it is working efficiently and, more importantly, safely.
The Importance of Annual Chimney Inspections
Annual chimney inspections help to prevent hazardous conditions, such as chimney fires and CO poisoning. These annual inspections are not only necessary for the safety of your home and family, but can potentially save you thousands of dollars in damage and repairs. By continually inspecting your chimney and associated structures, any potential hazards can be identified and fixed before the situation becomes dire. Our chimney safety experts are here to help you with these annual inspections and service on your chimney and venting systems.