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Fireplace Safety Tips to Help Keep You Warm this Winter

Getting warm near the glow of a fire in the fireplace is among the greatest pleasures to be enjoyed in wintertime. Safety practices should always come first, however. There are certain aspects of fireplaces and other heating appliances that place your home and family in danger if safety considerations are neglected. Below, learn fireplace tips to help you warm up safely.

Why Fireplace Safety is Important

The Consumer Product Safety Commission released statistics revealing how dangerous solid fuel-burning appliances can be. Between 5% and 10% of all household fires that result in major damage in homes are caused by appliances such as wood-burning fireplaces. Clearance, creosote, and installation are among the primary hazards associated with fireplaces. Learn more below.

fireplace installation, peach tree corners gaInstallation

Improperly installed wood-burning appliances and chimneys place homes and families at great risk. It is vital to schedule professional installation of solid fuel heating appliances to avoid a home fire resulting from improper installation.

Clearance

Combustible materials such as furniture, floors, and walls must be an adequate distance from your heating appliance. Fireplace manufacturers provide specifics that pertain to clearances in the use of solid fuel heating appliances. For instance, per one manufacturer, all fireplaces should have a noncombustible hearth extension that extends 20” beyond the front of the firebox plus 8” to either side. Brick, tile, and stone with proper support and no combustible material against the underside are examples of noncombustible materials that can be used in the construction of the hearth extension.

Creosote

A build-up of creosote in the chimney flue creates a heightened hazard. Creosote is a highly flammable by-product of combustion fumes created by wood fires. Chimney cleaning is needed routinely. Otherwise, creosote builds up gradually and could cause chimney blockage. A floating ember can ignite a dangerous chimney fire that is fueled by layers of creosote, risking your home & family.

Fireplace Safety Tips for Winter

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using your fireplace.
  • Never use flammable liquids in your fireplace.
  • Burn only seasoned softwoods and hardwoods with a moisture content of 25% or less. Be aware that it is dangerous to burn items that have been painted or treated with chemicals, such as plastics, garbage, and wood. These types of materials produce toxic fumes and could cause corrosion of the heating system.
  • When clearing out ashes routinely, always use a metal container with a metal lid. Place the container outside on a noncombustible surface a safe distance from combustible materials. Embers could stay hot for several days, and they should be disposed of with great caution.
  • Ensure that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home are in good working condition.

chimney inspection, buckhead gaSchedule Annual Chimney Inspections

As recommended by the nation’s most respected fire safety experts, schedule annual chimney inspections. In Alpharetta, GA, and the surrounding area, Chimney Solutions is the place to call for chimney services. Schedule a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, masonry rebuilds, and all of your needs associated with chimneys, fireplaces, and more. To reach us and schedule the services of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, call (770) 874-6504 today.

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