The holidays are just around the corner, and nothing else brings such joy and contentment. It is when good food, great company, old memories relived, and new memories made impact us the most. We plan and look forward to these special times for weeks. You want the house cleaned, the right menu planned, and a cozy fire to warm up in front of after the festivities. One thing no homeowner is looking for is the frightening roar of a chimney fire. Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid that devastating scenario.
How to Use Your Fireplace Correctly
First off, make sure that the wood that you’re using is properly cured. Using wood that hasn’t been dried for long enough leads to more smoke and a cooler burning fire. These both add up to more creosote building up in your chimney. Another wood tip: make sure the wood that you are burning is the hardest wood available. Hardwoods will burn hotter, which helps control creosote build-up. Also, avoid using pine-type woods, as these are sappier and this can make creosote build up as well.
So, what is creosote? The smoke that’s released during fire burning contains many things along with the water vapor that is produced. When the smoke reaches the top of your chimney, it condenses and forms a black, shiny, or maybe brown and sticky substance that is extremely flammable: creosote. When a stray spark or ember drifts up your chimney and catches in this creosote, you could be looking at a devastating chimney fire that could spread rapidly to your home. Even if the fire goes undetected, as some chimney fires do, it could cause structural damage that can lead to dangerous gases sneaking back into your home. That could cause serious health issues for you, your pets, and your loved ones.
Clear the Fireplace Area
In addition, make sure the area around the fireplace is cleared out. Make sure there aren’t any flammable items laying around that could catch a spark and start a fire. Never leave children alone in the room with a burning fire, and make sure that you teach children proper fire etiquette. Your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should also have batteries that are up to date and in working order.
Get Your Fireplace Inspected and Cleaned
The most important thing to do to ensure the safety of your family and home is to be proactive. Set up an appointment today to have your chimney inspected and cleaned so that you don’t have to worry about creosote build up or structural damage causing a holiday you’ll remember for all the wrong reasons. Keep yourself and your family safe by calling in the experts from Chimney Sweep Plus and make sure your family stays safe and secure not just during the holidays, but all winter long!