Building a fire in the fireplace on a cold, snowy night can be such a comfortable, cozy thing to do. Just snuggling down, watching the snow fall outside the window is a wonderful experience after a long day at work. It’s important that you’re aware of some things that could make this cozy pastime a nightmare situation.
First of all, when you use your fireplace on a frequent basis, the inside of your chimney can become coated with the by-products. These are left when the water vapors and other chemicals in smoke condense on it: creosote. Creosote is extremely flammable, so the danger lies in a stray ember or spark floating up the chimney and setting it on fire. A chimney fire is a scary event, but sometimes a chimney fire occurs without the homeowners even being aware of it. Even if you aren’t aware of it, a chimney fire is a threatening situation because it can cause structural damage to your chimney.
If you do have structural damage, you may be in danger of dangerous gases sneaking back into your home instead of being guided out the chimney. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced when you burn a fire in your fireplace, and if left undetected, can cause serious health problems such as nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, or, in extreme situations, death.
Children and Your Fireplace
If you have young children, it’s important to make sure that they are never left unattended while there is a fire burning. Don’t leave flammable items such as stuffed animals or pillows laying around too close to the fire, especially if there are young children around. If you have an upraised hearth, this often gets overlooked as a possible hazard. Young children can fall and cut their head on this; there are padded liners available which can make this a safer situation.
Another important thing to do is to make sure that your fire extinguishers are in working order. You should keep a fire extinguisher close by your fireplace, and give it a visual check every month. Look for visual signs that it has been damaged, like dents or corrosion, and make sure that the indicator on the pressure gauge is in the operating zone. Fire extinguishers should be inspected professionally yearly.
Don’t Forget the Annual Inspection!
The most important thing you can do to keep your fire-burning experience a safe one is to have your fireplace and chimney system inspected and cleaned on an annual basis. This should be done by a CSIA certified chimney sweep company like Chim Cheroo Chimney Service. They take pride in providing quality service; your satisfaction is of the utmost importance to them. Give them a call today so that your fire-burning nights are worry-free.