Many homeowners use their fireplaces, wood stoves , or pellet stoves to heat their homes when the temperatures drop. Fireplace Repair Seattle WA is a great way to provide warmth and comfort but they need to be maintained in order for them to work safely. To ensure a safe winter season, please keep these in mind.
Keep Your Chimneys, Fireplaces, and Wood Stoves Clean
- To ensure safety and efficiency, have your chimney, fireplace or wood stove cleaned and inspected by a licensed chimney specialist.
- Keep your hearth free from debris, decorations, and other combustible materials.
- Refer to the instructions of your wood burning, insert, or pellet stove for more information about operation and venting.
Keep Fires Burning Safely
- To ensure that the fireplace vents properly, make sure you have the damper open before you light a fire. Make sure you have turned off the flames before closing your damper.
- Only use a commercial firelighter or a match when lighting a fire. To light a fire, do not use any flammable liquids.
- While lighting a fire, keep the fireplace glass doors closed. This will allow the fire to get enough air to complete combustion, and reduce creosote buildup in the chimney. 3 Creosote can be defined as a substance that results from incomplete combustion.
- To keep the embers from escaping your fireplace, keep metal mesh screens closed.
- Use only dry wood for your fireplace. The buildup of creosote can be increased by using wet wood, which could lead to chimney fires. 4
- Burn plastic. It can cause toxic chemicals to be released and damage your fireplace, chimney, or wood stove.
- Avoid lighting Christmas trees in your fireplace. The sparks from burning needles could increase the danger of a chimney fire. You should also avoid burning cardboard boxes, wrapping papers, or trash in your fireplace.
- Never leave a fire in a fireplace unattended. Make sure to extinguish all flames before you leave the house or go to bed.
- Let the ashes cool completely before you dispose of them. It can take several days for ashes to cool completely. Do not place ashes in a trashcan. Instead, place the ashes in a metal covered container at least 10 feet from your home or any other buildings.
Firewood Safety and Chimney Safety
- Place firewood at least 30ft from your home.
- Clear your chimney and roof of leaves, pine needles, and other debris. Trim branches and trees to keep them from your chimney.
- To keep animals, debris, and branches out, install a chimney cap that includes a spark arrester. This will prevent sparks and embers from escaping, and can help to avoid a fire hazard.
Install Smoke- and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Make sure to test your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector . The best way to detect smoke coming from a fire is with a smoke detector. This will signal an alarm and allow you and your family to escape safely. Carbon monoxide detectors can warn you about the dangerous buildup of this colorless, odorless gas. To ensure that they function properly, test the detectors at least once a month and replace the batteries every other month.
Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces can provide warmth and comfort in the winter months. However, safety should always be your top priority. Keep your stove or fireplace clean and maintained. You should also review your homeowners insurance policy to ensure you have the right coverage.