The heart of winter is approaching, and with it comes the peak of fireplace season. Your hearth provides more than warmth on a cold day. It is also a welcoming gathering space for family and friends to relax and connect with one another. In this month’s blog, the CCP-certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney share creative fireside activities to enjoy this winter and important safety tips:
1. Make it a game night.
Pull out a deck of cards or your favorite board games and play something that the whole family can enjoy together. The flickering flames of the fireplace will be the perfect backdrop for these warm and cozy festivities.
Source: NBC News
2. Fire up toasty fireside flavors.
Try cooking a meal over the warm, smoldering coals. Fireplace cooking gives food a delicious flavor and creates an adventurous activity your family can enjoy. For that quintessential fireplace experience, roast s’mores for dessert!
3. Take a staycation.
Sometimes there is nothing better than staying just where you are. Grab your favorite hot beverage, and sit in front of the fire with a good book. Let the crackle of the fire lull you into a relaxed state.
Source: Acuity Insurance
The Fun Begins with Safety
Before you kick your indoor festivities into high gear, be sure your fireplace and chimney are ready to use. Start by scheduling a professional chimney cleaning and inspection with a CCP-certified chimney sweep. Your annual appointment ensures your system is operating safely and effectively. Follow it up by incorporating these safety practices every time you use your fireplace:
Only burn seasoned firewood. Unseasoned wood burns inefficiently, causing excess smoke and creosote in your chimney.
Limit usage. Your fireplace should never take the place of a furnace. Fireplaces aren’t built for long-time uses, so be sure to use it for short-duration fires—no longer than five hours.
Keep the doors open. Keep glass doors open to ensure the air can be drawn up to cool the chimney. Remember to keep the screen closed, though. This will prevent sparks from jumping onto your flooring.
Use the right tools. When using your fireplace, be sure to use the proper fireplace tools to handle the burning logs, especially if you just need to shift something slightly. Even brief exposure can cause burns or an unexpected accident.
Clean the firebox. Fireboxes need weekly cleaning when they are used in the cold months. Leave no more than an inch of ash to act as insulation, allowing the coals to heat up faster and retain heat during your next use.
Keep children and pets safe. Place fire tools and equipment out of reach of young children and never leave your child or pet unattended by an active fire. In fact, you can use this time to teach your whole family about fire safety.
Chimney Cleaning, Inspection, and Repair in NH and MA
At Admiralty Chimney, we are dedicated to keeping your family safe and warm. You can count on our CCP-certified chimney professionals to provide you with expert care for all of your fireplace and chimney needs. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.
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