Fireplaces may offer warmth and calm to your house, but their cozy, crackling glow can also exposes you and your family to serious hazards. Inconsistent cleaning of the cinders, ash, flammable residue and creosote from the chimney can constitute a fire hazard. There’s also the possibility that if the fireplace is not burning it still needs maintenance.

How can a homeowner properly and safely manage their fireplace while making sure it’s cost-effective at the same time?  Since chimney and fireplace maintenance may be difficult and nasty, hiring a professional to do it for you is necessary. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure fireplace safety:

Carry Out A Safety Check

You can undertake various steps to ensure your fireplace is effective and reliable. For example, to eliminate soot and debris, you should clean the chimney at least once a year, at the start of winter.

Clean It Regularly

Above your fireplace, it is essential to have a firebox and grate where the fire usually burns. This will collect ashes, reducing the chance of a house fire. Clean up the ashes and residual embers from inside the fireplace with your fireplace equipment, a brush, or a sweep. Consider purchasing an ash vacuum, which can collect small particles and keep your fireplace exceptionally tidy.

Fire extinguisherAlways Keep A Fire Extinguisher Handy

We mean it- always! Whether you have a fireplace or an outdoor firepit. It is recommended to use a 5-pound model with a hose. Everyone in the house should know how to operate a fire extinguisher if you have a fireplace.

Check For Chimney Cracks

Inspect the chimney foundation for cracks, loose bricks, or loose mortar before lighting the first fire of the season. Make sure you also check the liner for erosion. Cracks and spalling on the chimney exterior indicate degradation.

Use A Chimney Cap

Cover the surface of the chimney with a wire-mesh cap to keep animals, squirrels, rain, and other things out. Rain caps can deteriorate over time, so be prepared to replace them if they become ruined by rain.

Make Use Of A Fireplace Screen

Screens have two functions. First, they keep your children and pets safe from falling into the fire. It can also reduce the chances of ash or embers spitting out into the living room. This reduces the chances of a house fire, caused mainly by the neglect of fireplaces and chimneys. A fireplace screen is critical, especially if you have an outdoor fireplace.

A zoomed-in picture of firewood burning.Ensure That There Is No Creosote Accumulated 

Creosote is a tar-like substance that can build up in your chimney when you use a wood-burning fireplace. This is because the burning wood produces smoke that may contain creosote. Creosote can build up in your chimney if the smoke does not climb quickly enough.

Creosote can do severe damage to your chimney if it accumulates. Creosote buildup inside your chimney might prevent smoke and air from escaping. This permits harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide, to gather inside the house. You and your family may be at risk of inhaling chemicals if you use your fireplace, but that’s not the only risk. 

Creosote can also cause fires in chimneys. Creosote is highly combustible, so if it catches fire, it can spread to your roof or other areas of your home. Before starting to use the fireplace each year, homeowners should employ an expert chimney sweep. You can ensure that everything is secure by hiring a professional before using the fireplace.

Install A Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector

Having a CO detector at home is vital to detect dangerous toxic gas levels. High levels of CO may cause several symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, respiratory issues, and even cause fatalities. 

Ensure that all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are operational before starting a fire. Every year, people die because their smoke detectors did not activate during a fire. 

That’s frequently because the cells are dead (or had been removed to prevent frequent alerts), the detector had reached the end of its life, or was placed in an area where inhabitants couldn’t hear the sound. It is straightforward to test your smoke detectors to guarantee operation. Simply pressing the test button should cause the alarm to ring.

If you’re looking to install a fireplace, consult Stone Solutions Maine, located in Saco. We offer exclusive services for our clients, including driveway installation, masonry services, and landscaping services. Give us a call today to learn more about our services.