Utilizing a fireplace is a great way to save money on utility costs and keep the house warm, creating fond memories with the family sitting around the fire and enjoying a cozy home environment.
However, there are certain safety precautions that should be understood and taken before using your fireplace. By using your fireplace properly, you can ensure everything is done safely and the fireplace is utilized in the most efficient manner possible.
The following are the four most important precautions to take to stay safe and ensure the fireplace works properly.
Install a Chimney Cap
First and foremost, be sure to have a chimney cap installed on your chimney, regardless of whether or not the fireplace is in use.
A chimney cap is quite simply a cap that is placed on top of the fireplace to prevent animals from entering into the fireplace and rain, snow and other precipitation from falling in. Also, a roof cap helps protect the roof from burning embers that can lead to a house fire.
A chimney cap can cost anywhere from less than a hundred dollars to several hundred, depending on the chimney cap chosen and whether or not you need a chimney sweep to install it.
Keep Your Chimney Clean
It is also important to keep your chimney properly cleaned out, especially when the fireplace is being used on a consistent basis in the cold, winter months. Otherwise, there is an increased chance of individuals inside the home suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning or a house fire occurring.
For best practice, it is recommended to have the chimney cleaned out two to three times each year by a professional. In some cases where the fireplace is not used often, there may only be a need for one chimney cleaning a year. Having a chimney cleaned professionally generally costs between $100 to $250 dollars.
Only Burn Firewood
Now let’s discuss how to use the fireplace itself. It is always recommended to only burn true firewood(in exception to kindling and artificial starter logs) in order to ensure the air quality inside the home is not compromised.
Be sure to avoid burning any painted wood or construction material as they may contain harmful chemicals that are released when burned.
Also be sure to avoid burning any wet wood as doing so may prevent the fire from starting or continuing. Build the fire slow, use proper firewood, and you should be well on your way to a comforting, warm fireplace.
Use Fireplace Tools
Last but not least, use fireplace tools to control the fire. Many fireplaces injuries occur each year as a result of individuals attempting to use their hands to add logs to the fire or reposition a log already in the fire. Regardless of whether or not gloves are worn, sticking a hand in a fireplace is never a good idea.
Investing and using in a proper fireplace toolset is a great way to ensure you have all that you need to get a fire started quickly and keep the fire going, without risking injury along the way.
Annette Masterson is a licensed broker with EXIT Realty Bob Lamb & Associates in Murfreesboro, TN. She has developed one of the most successful real estate teams in Rutherford County, known as Masterson Network, that specializes in new home construction and residential listings and sales throughout Middle Tennessee. You can email Annette at email@example.com or call her at 615-896-5656 (Office) or 615-533-1660 (Cell) for more information.