Chimney Sweep

Hearth Security Tricks to Not Get Burned This Winter

The safety of the fireplace is one of the peaks that emerges when the temperature gets cold. But how much do you really know about your family’s safety?

Although a fireplace is built so that you can safely enjoy blazing flames from the cozy rooms of your home, the stones, bricks, and cements that make up these structures can seriously deteriorate. Therefore, if your home has a fireplace, knowing the rules of fireplace safety is a must or you will endanger you and your family.

There are over 25,000 fires caused by fireplaces and wood stoves every year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. These cause $ 125 million in damage and result in dozens of deaths. Before you light up, know what to do to keep these dangers at bay.

Fireplace safety: fire in the chimney

Chimney fires are often caused by creosote – a black, tar-like substance created by wood gases clinging to chimney walls. Creosote is highly flammable, often toxic, and can easily ignite if exposed to excessive temperatures, e.g. B. by a fire underneath. The strangest part? You may have had a log fire before and didn’t even notice it before it burned out!

“In most cases, a fireplace fire is invisible,” said Jordan Whitt, director of marketing and communications at the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Occasionally you can hear a loud rustling in the chimney.

Other tell-tale signs of a fireplace fire are heavier than normal smoke that comes out of the chimney or pipe of your wood-burning stove and feels much hotter than usual. But even if the log fire burns out, it can cause damage. In the worst case scenario, it will spread and you will notice that you or a neighbor happens to be outside your home and see flames shoot out of your chimney like a birthday candle (of course, you need to call the fire department as soon as possible).

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Sure, those fireplace flames may look terribly pretty, but the fumes from a fire contain potentially deadly carbon monoxide (CO) that can enter your home. CO is a product of combustion, so some amount of it will always be produced by a fire or your stove. But if your chimney is working properly it will just vent and leave your home.

“But if the chimney becomes blocked or narrowed due to creosote or other debris, the CO has no place other than the house,” says Whitt.

CO is more of a threat in newer homes than in older ones, he continues. “Older houses are usually draftier, so that CO dissolves faster, while newer houses are more tightly sealed,” he notes.

Chimney failure

Chimney failure is an umbrella term that describes a number of situations where your fireplace, chimney, and everything in between are not working properly, and it’s an important safety measure for the fireplace. Anything built of stone or brick that is constantly exposed to the elements will deteriorate and fail over time.

“Water is the No. 1 enemy of brick chimneys. So make sure you have a proper cap and flash where the chimney meets the roof, ”recommends Whitt. Without proper maintenance of the fireplace, the mortar between the bricks will begin to crumble, loosen and eventually crumble. Which is a serious disappointment. Don’t let it happen

How to inspect a fireplace

The solution to all of the above: An annual inspection and cleaning of chimneys and chimneys, which costs around $ 125 to $ 150 per chimney. These chimney security checks are vital. And don’t forget to install CO detectors on every floor of your home. Even if you only have the occasional fire, don’t use rarity as an excuse to skip this important step. Professional scrubbing removes sticks, leaves and pesky creosote from inside your chimney, greatly reducing the risk of CO leaks and fires. Find a certified chimney sweep in your forest neck on the CSIA website by entering your zip code into the search tool.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button