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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Approved Fireplace Safety Increase Your Fireplace Awareness

burning firewood fireplace safety
As cold weather sets in again the fireplace begins to look better and better. A fireplace in your home adds a nice amenity to the surrounding of the home. It creates romance, warmth, and long lasting enjoyable memories for those that have them.

Many homes have 2 or 3 fireplaces in different rooms of the house. People love the ambiance of a nice cozy fireplace. But theres a great responsibility that comes with owning a fireplace as well. One of those responsibilities are the maintaining of it in a safe operating manner.

It seems that at least once a year, I always hear of somebody who's house caught fire and burned down because of the fireplace. Fireplace safety is one of those things that many people over look. They think that all you have to do is put in the wood and fire it up and enjoy.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Thats the benefit of this article to you. To help remind you of the importance of safety where your fireplace is concerned. I want to talk to you about the important fireplace safety things that you should do at least every year.

Some might say "well I don't use my fireplace very much at all"! The point is, whether or not you use it much in the winter months, these things should at the least be checked if not performed every year. Your investment in your house depends on it. Not to mention the safety of your family.

young woman enjoying fireplace
In this article I will focus primarily on the wood burning fireplace. There are 3 types of fireplaces.
  • Wood burning
  • Gas
  • Electric
The electric fireplace we will not talk about because they are nothing more than a heater with a fake fire presence. They don't require the attention that the other 2 do. Everything that I mention here needs to be done as well for the gas fireplace.

So with that foundation laid for you, let's get on with the things that should be looked at and performed if necessary. I'll save the most important one for last.
  • Chimney Cover:
Most houses with a fireplace also have a chimney cover at the top and outside of the chimney. Some have screened covers, some screened in metal covers, and some with open metal covers over them. This is to keep leaves and dirt and twigs from trees from getting down inside the chimney.

These need to be checked every year for wear. If rusted and worn from weather, replace it. Always check down the chimney while up on the roof of your house, for tree twigs and anything else that could block the flow up the chimney.
  • Remove Burned Ashes After Every Use :
modern clean safe fireplace
Always remove the burned ashes from the fireplace, especially if you've used it quite a few hours at one time. This will help your fire burn much cleaner and reduce smoke from coming out into the house. As well as keep any hot ambers from possibly getting out onto your floor or carpeting.
  • Make Sure Your Fireplace Grating Is Covering the Front:
The fireplace grating is what protects from the hot ambers getting out or should I say "popping" out of the fire onto the floor and possibly causing a fire. This should be cleaned not because of the ambers but because soot from the fire builds up on these after time and blocks your view of the fire.

Also check it for wear and thats its no bent up from age and general living. Replace if necessary.
  • Last But Not Least, the Most Important Of All: Check Your Chimney Flue for Wear and Cleanliness!
Always, let me say this again, ALWAYS make sure before, you start a fire in your fireplace that the flue is open! The flue is a metal valve if you will, that keeps anything from coming down from above that might get past your chimney cover and getting into the house.

This flue has different settings for how much you want it to be open. The reason for this is to allow you to keep as much heat in side the house as possible as well as letting the smoke and soot up the chimney. Sort of a way to adjust the temperature in the house from the fire. If this is not checked to be open before every fire you start heres what can happen if it's closed...
  • Smoke from the fire builds up and fills the house with smoke and soot.
  • With the fire burning now there becomes no way to reach in and open the flue.
  • The only way to put out the fire is by extinguisher or water.
  • You now have a huge dangerous mess on your hands assuming you get water or fire extinguisher to it in time before your house burns down.
happy family fireplace
Also you want to make sure the flue valve is clean from soot build up over all the fires you've had that you didn't clean it. Which could add up to years. You should have your chimney cleaned by a professional or if you're good at it, at least every 2 years. Surely though you can see the importance of making sure your flue is open before starting a fire.

The Conclusion

If you follow these steps to make sure you have a safe fireplace, theres no way you shouldn't have many wonderful years of use out of it. And never have to worry about the danger that lurks where fire is concerned. None of these should be overlooked. Especially the Flue.

I hope you have a safe, warm and happy winter with your fireplace.

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