If you’re lucky enough to have a gas or wood burning fireplace in your home, you know how warm and inviting it can be. A flickering fire adds instant ambiance to any room, and can act as a supplemental source of heat during these cold winter days.
But if not maintained properly, a fireplace can also place your home and family in jeopardy. So brush up on the inherent risks of fireplace ownership, and follow these safety precautions to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
Creosote is a black, tar-like, highly flammable substance that can build up in the chimney or flue of a wood-burning fireplace. If not cleaned, creosote can ignite and start a chimney fire, one with potentially dire consequences. To minimize creosote build-up, have your chimney cleaned by a professional chimney service at least once a year, avoid burning slow, smoldering fires, and never burn anything but dry, seasoned wood.
Carbon monoxide, produced from the burning of any fuel, can escape into your home if the gas-burning devise, like a furnace or fireplace, isn’t vented properly or if the vent is obstructed. In addition to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, have an oxygen-depletion sensor installed in your gas fireplace. This devise will automatically shut the gas off should too much carbon monoxide build up. Also, have a trusted gas fireplace retailer inspect and clean your gas log set once a year.
Fires and Burns
A fire is only magical when controlled. So be sure to use a fireplace screen or shield to prevent embers from flying out into your living space. Keep flammable materials, including decorations, furniture, and rugs at least three feet away from the fireplace, and always make sure the gas is turned off or the fire is completely out before leaving the house of going to sleep. Never leave children or pets unattended with a burning fire, and consider using a gate to keep little tots from getting too close.
Here’s another angle to consider. If you find you’re using your fireplace more and more to help compensate for a furnace that’s under-performing in the home heating department, the time is now to have you heating system professionally inspected by the professionals at Optimum Air.
The problem could as simple a clogged filter that’s blocking air from passing through it which, in turn, makes your furnace have to work harder and harder to generate the desired amount of heat. Whatever the problem might be, we’ll professionally diagnose it and give you a guaranteed upfront price to make it right again. After all, that’s what we’re here for.