Winter season is here and the simple pleasures of gathering around the fireplace become more and more common. To ensure the safety of yourself and family members, be sure to follow these crucial steps before deciding to light a fire.
Have your fireplace professionally cleaned – According to the National Fire Protection Association, you should have your chimney swept at least once a year by a professional cleaning service. This type of service entails cleaning inside and outside the chimney.
- Always cap your chimney – Placing a cap on your chimney prevents outside debris, rain, and even vermin from entering your fireplace.
- Burn seasoned wood – Not all wood is safe for your fireplace. If you have any questions about what wood to choose, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America website.
- Place a small amount of wood in the fire – A small amount of wood generates less smoke. Less smoke is not only beneficial to your own health, but it also means less damage to your chimney.
- Place the wood on a metal grate – This allows the air to circulate around the logs.
- Use a guard – Placing a guard on both sides of your fireplace can prevent any sparks from flying out and potentially harming yourself or any appliances that are nearby.
- Put out the fire safely – After the fire dies down, be sure to bury the logs at the bottom of the fireplace and pour sand on it to ensure that it is out.
Types of Chimney Fires
- Free Burning: Extremely loud blaze with visible flames and smoke coming out of the chimney top.
- Slow Burning: Much quieter than a free burning fire. This type of chimney fire often goes unnoticed since they burn slower and at high temperatures. Slow burning fires are still extremely dangerous.
At SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, safety is our #1 concern, and we hope that you and your family are able to enjoy the splendors of a fireplace fire this winter season.