We know how wonderful it can be to cozy up to the fireplace on a cold evening. We also know that safety is your number one priority, and using your chimney for the first time this upcoming season may be a little nerve-wracking. That’s why we’ve put together this list of safety tips we think every homeowner should keep in mind.
- Only use seasoned hardwood. Use wood that has been drying for 6 months or more, as excess moisture can lead to creosote buildup and inefficient burning.
- Don’t keep décor too close to the fireplace. During the holidays, it can be tempting to decorate a fireplace, a prominent feature in any home, but we strongly recommend against this practice if you plan to operate the chimney at all as it could be a fire hazard.
- Use your glass door or install a wire mesh screen. This protects the room and the people in it from embers and excessive heat.
- Trim branches too close to any part of the chimney. Keep everything about 15 feet away.
- Install a chimney cap. A chimney cap protects your chimney from water damage, and it also keeps small animals and debris out of the chimney, and stops birds from nesting. Ask a professional to take care of this for you.
- Hire a chimney sweep and get professional inspections done annually. A professional chimney sweep should take a look at your chimney each year to see whether there is any damage that should be repaired to reduce the chances of a chimney fire. Chimney cleaning is also necessary, as the tarlike creosote that builds up over a year from using the fireplace can be severe, and this residue is the main contributor of fires that begin in the chimney.
If you have any questions at all about your chimney and fireplace, don’t hesitate to contact one of our professionals. Call the St. Paul, MN chimney specialists at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. today!