If you are fortunate enough to live in a home with a fireplace, then you know the warmth and comfort it can bring when the temperatures start falling. It might be that you are planning to move into a home with a fireplace for the first time. Whether you are a new or veteran fireplace user, it always helps to brush up on the safety tips. Here are some of the things that you should keep in mind to always practice good fireplace safety:
Use Dry, Cured Wood
Obviously, you want to burn dry wood in your fireplace but is your wood cured? The curing process for wood does not involve any special ointments or treatments. All that is required is that you split a log, stack it and keep it dry for at least 8 to 12 months. The logs that you store outside should be covered but there should be openings on the side for air to flow through.
As for the types of wood that are best to burn, you should always opt for the hardwood variety such as hickory, white oak, beech or sugar maple. Those have been known to burn the longest. Spruce or Pine also provides a good burn when they are sufficiently dry but you may find yourself adding a lot more wood to the fireplace with those types of logs.
It is also vital that the only things you burn in that fireplace is cured wood. Any kind of crates, lumber or construction scraps might have been treated with chemicals that could be released into your home when burnt.
Install a Chimney Cap
Your chimney needs to be kept clean in order for the flow of smoke to leave your home. You also want to prevent items from falling down into the chimney like rain, snow or leaves. A stainless-steel chimney cap can prevent that from happening.
Install Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
You probably already have smoke detectors in your home but do you have a carbon monoxide detector? And is one of those smoke detectors by your fireplace? If you are burning the fire properly, then this should never be any smoke filling up your living room. Those detectors are vital in any home with a fireplace.
Your fireplace damper should be open all the way when you are burning a fire. It will help to slowly build that fire starting with kindling and adding logs as the flames grow. Keeping the damper open also prevents smoke from lingering in the chimney. That is how creosote forms.
Keep Clutter Away
You also want to keep clutter away from your fireplace. This is not the area to store a stack of newspapers or magazines even if you might use them for tinder. There shouldn’t be anything flammable within 3 to 5 feet of your fireplace. That might mean pushing some of your furniture back but you want to make sure that no embers can ignite anything in your living room. Even with a glass cover, you might occasionally open that cover to stoke the fire.
Ideally, it helps to keep clutter out of all of your storage areas like the garage, basement and attic of your house in order to avoid hazards. This doesn’t mean you can keep anything in storage but it should only be the items that are valuable and/or usable to your family. There is no need to hold on to things that you are never going to use again. That just adds to the clutter and also adds to potentially flammable materials.
After conducting a thorough sorting of all your boxes, bins and other storage containers you can bring in the team from Junk Works to clear it all away. One session with these professional junk haulers will take your decluttering to a whole other level. Stay safe without the clutter near your fireplace and in the rest of your home. Let Junk Works help get rid of it all.