Continue reading to learn some important safety and maintenance tips for fireplaces.
Negligence and poor maintenance are the two most common catalysts for fireplace accidents and damage. Not only can extensive fireplace damage be costly to repair or renovate, it can pose a serious hazard to people and pets. Keeping a fireplace in a safe and working condition is not difficult. As long as you are familiar with the principle rules, safety guidelines, and maintenance necessities for your fireplace, you are ready to fill that cup of cocoa and snuggle under a warm blanket, next to your ember-glowing fireplace!
Here are important fireplace safety and maintenance tips to always remember:
1. Never Leave a Fire Unattended
This is especially important for households with small children. And of course, do not let children play too close to an active fire.
2. Clean Firebox Once Per Week
During times of frequent fireplace use, be sure to clean and empty the firebox one time each week. When cleaning the firebox, leave one inch or leftover ash for faster warm-up times. This keeps the insulation and allows the charcoal and coals to heat up quicker. Once fireplace usage comes to an end for the season, always keep the firebox entirely clean.
3. Use a Non-Flammable Rug or Fireplace Mat
You can protect your carpets by placing a non-flammable mat or rug at the hearth of a fireplace. Any sparks or flying embers that may shoot out of the fire will not damage carpeting that lies beneath a non-flammable rug. These can be bought at any hardware store or home store.
4. Open All Air Controls and Chimney Flues
Before starting a fire, always remember to open the chimney flues and allow smoke to escape. When smoke cannot escape outside from the chimney, your home will fill up instead. Over-inhalation of fireplace smoke can cause serious respiratory damages and fatalities.
5. Keep Space Between the Firewood
As you add more firewood, be sure to leave space between them to prevent smoldering. Properly stacked and positioned firewood with give you a beautiful and long-lasting fire. Start a fire with some dry kindling and a little wood; and then grow the fire from there by adding more wood.
6. Service Your Fireplace Once a Year
Have a certified professional inspect your fireplace once a year. They will check for damages, creosote buildup, cracks, water damage, hazards, and signs of future problems. They can accurately assess the overall condition of your fireplace, and then make professional recommendations for repairs. They can also clean your chimney and fireplace to prevent potential chimney fires.