There are so many pitfalls around your home, accidents just waiting to happen. Have you ever tripped over a toy that’s laying in the middle of the floor? Or cut yourself with a kitchen knife? For the most part, these dangers are avoidable. There are also some dangers connected with your fireplace, but here again, if you take the proper precautions, using your fireplace is perfectly safe and it can be a centerpiece of beauty and comfort for your home. The most important thing you can do is to have your chimney and fireplace system inspected and cleaned on an annual basis, or more often if you use your fireplace a lot. There are, however, other things you can do which will keep you and your family safe.
One of the hidden dangers that your fireplace and chimney can produce is carbon monoxide. A fireplace isn’t the only place that this deadly gas is produced, however. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of incomplete combustion; this can occur with your fireplace, but also with a gas water heater, gas and oil furnaces, or woodstoves as well. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause a variety of symptoms, such as nausea, dizziness, headache, chest pain, and confusion to occur. Because this gas is odorless and colorless, many times people mistake it for the stomach flu, and this is particularly dangerous because if too much carbon monoxide is breathed or if left untreated for too long, death can occur. Every year hundreds of people die from breathing this gas, and thousands of cases of illness from breathing carbon monoxide are reported.
If these statistics scare you, they should. It’s important to realize, however, that carbon monoxide poisoning is something that is preventable. One thing that every homeowner should have in their home is a carbon monoxide detector, which will let you know when carbon monoxide levels get too high. Make sure that you check the batteries on your detector once a month and change them every six months. Also, using harder woods that have been properly cured can help reduce the levels of creosote produced.
Have Your Chimney Properly Maintained
An important part of being a fireplace owner is making sure to have professionals in once a year to make sure that it is cleaned and in a proper state of repair. This not only helps prevent chimney fires, but it can also help avoid the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is given off during the burning process, and most escape up your chimney with the other chemicals in the smoke that is produced. But some condenses onto your chimney’s interior in the form of creosote. When the professionals from Chimney Sweep Plus are called in, we check for creosote buildup and make sure that your chimney is cleared out of this dangerous material. We also check for any structural damage which may be allowing carbon monoxide to sneak back into your home.
Carbon monoxide poisoning, though scary, is easily preventable through proper care and maintenance. Call us today to set up an inspection and stop worrying about this silent danger.