If you utilize your fireplace frequently in Plymouth, there are some preventative chimney cleaning and maintenance tasks that you should follow to avoid safety hazards. Even if you heat your home with a gas furnace or rarely use your fireplace, chimney fires and carbon monoxide leaks are still major concerns. Your chimney is part of your home’s ventilation system.
To maintain proper ventilation and prevent hazards, follow these guidelines:
1. Annual Inspections
The general consensus among fire safety experts is that chimneys should be inspected once a year by a certified chimney inspector. A qualified professional will inspect and clean your chimney to prevent air flow problems, fires, or carbon monoxide poisoning due to blockages and creosote buildup in homes heated with wood.
2. Burn the Correct Fuel
If you have a wood-burning application, such as a wood stove or fireplace, you should only burn wood that has been properly dried and stored properly for at least six months prior to burning. Never burn wood that has high amounts of resin, such as pine or other evergreens, and if you have a pellet stove, make sure you are burning pellets from a trusted source.
3. Chimney Cap and Cage Are Important – Without a chimney cap animals and birds will make your chimney their home. These unwanted guests could lead to fires and poor ventilation for your chimney smoke.
4. Trash or Debris Do Not Belong in Your Fireplace– Burning trash or debris in your fireplace is never a good idea because the smoke could produce increased levels of creosote, or toxic smoke. The smoke could also be highly pollutant.
5. Build the Fire Correctly – The first step to having a safe and efficient fire is to build the fire right. Make sure that the logs are piled up towards the back of the fireplace, make sure the screen is ready to cover it up, and do not use flammable liquid to start the fire because if the liquid gets anywhere else in your home that could be dangerous.
6. Keep the hearth area clear – Remember that the fire in your home is still an open fire, and can throw out hot ash or embers that can ignite other flammable materials. Keep other materials at least 4 feet away from the fire in order to avoid this issue.
7. Install a Fireplace Screen – In order to avoid hot ash and embers from flying out of the fire, and things falling into the fire put up a fire place screen anytime you have a fire going. This will reduce all interactions with the fire, and make for a safer environment.
8. Smoke and carbon monoxide Detectors Save Lives. Smoke and carbon monoxide is definitely dangerous for the health of a family, but can sometimes go unnoticed until it is too late. Installing a smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is incredibly easy and could save lives.
9. Pay Attention to Your Fire – Always extinguish your fire before going to bed or leaving the house. A fire is unpredictable and potentially very damaging. Even if you are in the house make sure to keep an eye on the fire so children or animals do not wander too close to it, especially if you do not have a fireplace screen.
10. Safe Distance from Chimney Flue – When smoke leaves your home it is warm enough to catch trees on fire over time. Make sure to keep an eye on trees growing around your home to make sure they are not creeping closer to the top of your chimney. Try to keep a fifteen to twenty foot distance between the top of your chimney and trees.
If you would like us to service your chimney or you have any questions please call 2nd Generation Chimneys.