Getting Your Fireplace and Chimney Ready for Winter
Your fireplace is designed to safely contain a wood-fueled fire, while, at the same time, providing heat for your home. The chimney that’s attached to your fireplace has the job of expelling the substances—smoke, water vapor, gases, etc.—produced when the wood burns. In 2013, according to statistics from the NFPA, 487,500 home structure fires resulted in 2,855 civilian deaths; heating equipment was involved in an estimated 53,600 of the afore mentioned home structure fires. Because of the risks associated with fires, it is important to take steps to prepare your fireplace for the fall and winter. Without taking the proper precautions, an accident can result in a devastating fire that could rob you of the things that are really precious to you, many of which could be irreplaceable.
CALL A CSIA-CERTIFIED CHIMNEY SWEEP
The most important thing you can do, if you haven’t done so already, is schedule an appointment with a CSIA certified chimney sweep—say the pros at Chimney Saver Solutions—to have your chimney inspected and cleaned. The leading cause of fires in wood-burning appliances is creosote (unburned fuel) buildup in the chimney. Burning big, hot fires instead of small, smoky or wet ones will virtually eliminate the likelihood of creosote building up in your chimney, and scheduling an annual cleaning provides extra peace of mind that’ll help you sleep a little easier at night.
GETTING RID OF CREOSOTE BUILDUP
Sooner or later, every chimney needs to be cleaned in order to remove creosote buildup. It is highly recommended that you leave this task to a CSIA certified chimney sweep. The frequency for your cleanings will vary based on the amount of use your fireplace receives, but it should never be any longer than a year between cleanings, as the likelihood of a clean chimney catching fire is far less than a dirty one. We encourage you to get your chimney cleaned so you can enjoy the cold-weather months with the rest of the fireplace folks and ensure that your home remains warm and cozy throughout.
GIVING YOUR FIREPLACE A HAND
Correctly managing your wood-burning stove is another key. If your fireplace doesn’t already have either a screen or doors, you will definitely want to invest some money in getting that taken care of before you light your first fire of the season. This will prevent sparks from escaping and causing real damage. Many times, fires from wood-burning appliances start when the homeowners are either gone or asleep. To guard against this, homeowners should adjust the air intake vents before leaving the fireplace alone. Homeowners should also be mindful to never go to bed or leave the house until all embers in the fireplace have been extinguished. If no one can be present to watch the fire, it should be put out.
Keeping these fireplace safety precautions in mind will help ensure that you get the most out of your wood-burning experience. With the recent drop in temperatures, now is a great time to get your wood-burning fireplace ready for the fall and winter months; you never want to wait until it gets cold. It’s still not to late to give the professionals at Chimney Saver Solutions a call at 804-440-5000. Our commitment to bringing Richmond the finest and best-trained chimney sweeps is second to none. We wish you a safe and happy wood-burning season for this year and for many years to come.