Fire Prep To-Do List Before the Season’s First Fire
Even if cozying up to a fire is what you most look forward to in cold weather, it is essential to remember that the safe thing to do is prepare before lighting that first fire of the season. The comfortable, romantic ambiance that a fireplace provides sometimes distracts from the reality that safety steps are needed. Many home fires that occur each year happen the first time a fireplace is used at the start of wintry weather, due to lack of preparation. The following checklist can help you avoid this type of danger and serve as a to-do list before the cold weather arrives.
Schedule a chimney inspection with a reputable chimney services company like Chimney Solutions. An expert chimney technician is qualified to spot any signs of chimney damage. The untrained eye may not recognize evidence of moisture in the masonry. In addition, it may require expert equipment to discover that the chimney liner has begun to deteriorate.
When creosote builds up in the chimney lining, there is an increased risk of a dangerous chimney fire. In addition, if there is too much creosote, it can create an obstruction. This is also a serious hazard, since a blocked chimney will cause combustion gases to enter the home. These toxic fumes include deadly carbon monoxide. These are among the reasons some safety experts recommend an annual chimney cleaning, no matter how little creosote there may already be in the chimney.
If there is damage to your fireplace or chimney, schedule repair before winter. Neglecting some repairs, such as chimney liners, puts your home and family in danger. Neglecting other types of repairs, such as moisture damage, isn’t necessarily an immediate threat, but putting off repair invariably means the ultimate cost is higher.
Chimney Cap Installation
If you do not have a chimney cap on your chimney, have one installed by a professional before lighting the season’s first fire. Chimney caps can offer various benefits, such as spark guards that can help to prevent a hazardous house fire.
Hearth Guard or Doors
A wood fire can be dangerous because as logs are burning, sparks and embers can pop into the room. For this reason, fireplace screens or doors should be in place and ready to provide protection before lighting a fire.
Clear the Area Around the Hearth – Flammable objects, including furniture, should be moved away from the fireplace by a distance of at least 3 feet.
Prepare your Firewood – The firewood that fuels your fires should also be prepared for winter. Only use seasoned firewood, which means the wood has low moisture content. It can take between about 6 months and 1 year for firewood to dry out sufficiently. If you plan to burn hot fires, collect hardwoods. For quick fires that burn out quickly and don’t leave embers behind, gather softwoods.
Alarms – Make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are in all recommended places in the home and have enough power. Both types of alarms can save lives, in the event something goes wrong.
Gather Supplies to Build Fires – Fires In fireplaces should never be stoked with liquid flammables. Prepare your supplies for getting fires started. Dryer lint and bits of newspaper are examples of good tinder for fires. Small, dry twigs serve well as kindling, to get a fire going strong before logs are added. Don’t overload your fireplace with firewood because it can cause serious damage to your chimney and chimney liner.
Call Chimney Solutions – It’s best to schedule your chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, and chimney repairs before winter arrives. The qualified technicians at Chimney Solutions can provide all of your chimney needs and help you to have peace of mind that your fireplace and chimney system are ready for the cold season’s first fire. Call Chimney Solutions at (770) 255-1300 today.