clock December 27, 2013 comments No Comments flowchart Family & Home CareOur Blog tag Property MaintenanceSafety

With winter underway, many people may be looking to fire up their fireplaces (pun intended). Needless to say, there are some safety precautions that are overlooked by many every year which could cause major losses. By abiding by the following tips, you can stay safe and warm for the winter.

  1. Before you use your fireplace, be sure to have it professionally cleaned and capped so no additional fires start and no rain, snow, or birds get in. This should be done annually or every six months depending on how frequently you use your fireplace.
  2. Although it’s quicker, kindle the fire rather than using a flammable liquid.
  3. Make your fires small and hot, not large and dangerous. Doing so could crack the chimney.
  4. Even if it needn’t be said…it needs to be said: don’t try to pick up or move the logs with your hand when they have been lit.
  5. When burning wood, make sure it is seasoned hardwood. Burning wood with high moisture will build up creosote in your chimney and become a potential fire hazard.
  6. Most of us have probably made this mistake, but don’t burn trash, mail, boxes, or plastic in the fireplace. Dispose of them in the regular manner.
  7. Be sure to position the logs in the far rear area of the fireplace. This lowers the chances of sparks flying out of the fireplace and onto the floor.
  8. Remove everything flammable away from the fireplace! You don’t want the neighbors to walk by your house and say, “Wow, they must be really warm!”
  9. Don’t throw away hot ashes, let them cool down, then scoop them into a metal container and douse with water.
  10. Keep your roof clean. Even if your chimney is capped, you don’t want to run the risk of a leaf or branch catching fire.
  11. Don’t forget to open the damper (this is the mechanism inside of the fireplace that allows you to seal the chimney shut for moments when it is not in use). Forgetting to do so will lead to smoke building up in your home and serve as a major health risk.
  12. Do NOT under any circumstance burn your Christmas tree! There is a lot of sap in evergreens that will cause them to explode if ignited. You’re trying to keep the family warm, not the block.