As the temperature begins to drop in the coming months, there are few things that homeowners may enjoy more than curling up by the fireplace for a cozy evening. A gas or wood-burning fireplace is a welcome addition to any home, but there are several things you should do to make sure that your fireplace and chimney are working well to reduce the risk of problems in the colder months ahead:
Schedule routine chimney sweeps – To ensure that your fireplace and chimney are in proper working condition, schedule a chimney sweep and inspection once per year. The best time to do this is before the start of a burning season.
Burn fires safely – Only burn wood that was cut at least six months ago. Store any excess firewood in an elevated and covered area. Although it may be tempting, steer clear of using any flammable liquids in your fireplace.
Safe chimneys outside – Make sure that your chimney is clear of any branches that are closer than 15 feet. Install a chimney cap to keep out any unwanted debris or animals.
Interior safety – Arrange furniture at a minimum of three feet away from the hearth of your fireplace and install a mesh screen to keep sparks from flying.
Discard ashes – When the fire is finished burning, discard ashes by placing them in a metal container away from your home so they can properly cool.
Before you start – Inspect for cracks in the glass or latch issues, and check that the logs are in the proper position. Turn off the gas at the shut-off valve and test the igniter before using.
For more fireplace and chimney safety tips, click here.
If the holidays have you wishing for a fireplace in a new home, I would be happy to talk with you about what your best lending options may be when you are ready.