As the temperature begins to drop, homeowners like yourselves are eagerly anticipating the cozy warmth of their fireplace. While a crackling fire can create a delightful atmosphere, using your fireplace safely during the winter is essential. In this month’s blog, our CCP-certified chimney professionals have compiled five tips to ensure you have a safe and efficient burning season.
1. Perform regular maintenance.
Before the winter season, have your fireplace and chimney inspected by a professional chimney sweep. They will check for any blockages, creosote buildup, or damage that could pose a safety hazard.
Schedule a professional cleaning at least once a year or more if your fireplace or wood stove are used frequently.
2. Store and burn quality firewood.
Burn only seasoned hardwoods like oak, maple, or cherry. Seasoned wood has been allowed to dry for at least six months. Green, or wet, wood can lead to more creosote buildup and less efficient burning.
Store firewood away from your home to prevent pests and moisture problems.
3. Ensure proper ventilation.
Open the damper or flue before lighting a fire to ensure proper ventilation. This allows smoke and gases to escape through the chimney rather than entering your home.
Keep a window cracked open slightly while the fire is burning to provide a source of fresh air and help maintain proper airflow.
Remove ashes and debris from the firebox to ensure proper airflow and reduce the risk of a chimney fire.
4. Use fireplace tools.
Install a sturdy fireplace screen or glass doors to prevent sparks, embers, and logs from popping out of the fire. Ensure the screen or doors are securely in place while the fire is burning.
Use appropriate tools, such as a poker and tongs, to adjust and move logs as needed. Never use your hands to adjust burning logs.
5. Practice fireplace safety.
Keep flammable materials, such as curtains, furniture, and decorations, a safe distance away from the fireplace. We recommend a three-foot clearance.
Always supervise the fire and never leave it unattended, especially if you have pets or children in the house.
Extinguish the fire completely before going to bed or leaving the house. Use a fireplace shovel to spread out the embers and cover them with ashes.
Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, especially near the fireplace and sleeping areas. Regularly test and replace the batteries in these detectors to ensure they are functioning properly.
Chimney Cleaning, Inspection, Maintenance and Repair in NH and MA
Professional inspections and cleanings, coupled with responsible burning practices, not only keep your home safe but also ensure that you enjoy a cozy and warm winter season. Is your chimney due for an appointment? Contact us today. We’re your local CCP-certified chimney professionals.
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