5 Fireplace Safety Tips

Fireplace Design | Fireplace Safety

Fireplace safety ensures that you have a great fireplace experience.

Lighting a fire in your fireplace is one of the most relaxing things you can do, especially during the cold Midwest winter months. It adds a warmth and atmosphere to a room that you can’t get any other way. While it provides a great gathering place for your family, it can also be a risk if you do not take proper precautions. If you haven’t lit many fires in your life, then you may not be aware of what it takes to maintain your fireplace so it’s safe to use. Here are 5 fireplace safety tips.

Keep Children Away From the Fire

This goes for pets as well, but never leave a fire unattended when there are children around. Depending on the age of your child, be sure to teach them about fire safety as well so they understand the risks involved. While it seems fairly intuitive to keep children away from a fire, make sure that they do not play around the fire or with tools around the fireplace. Even if the fireplace is covered with a glass plate, these can still become hot enough to cause injuries.

Make Sure the Damper is Open

If you have used a fireplace before you most likely know this. A good way to check if your damper is open or not is to light a match in your fireplace with the window open and blow the flame out. If the smoke goes up then it is open, if it goes out of the fireplace then it is closed. If the smoke rises, it is vital to make sure that the opening of the chimney is not blocked by debris or an ice dam.

Don’t Put Anything in the Fireplace that Shouldn’t be there

Don’t try and dispose of any extra paper or trash in your fireplace and certainly don’t try and cook anything in it. In this case I think the most common mistake people make is that they overload their fireplace. Don’t put too much wood in your fireplace, if anything put less and you can add more if needed. Don’t put anything near the fire that’s combustible.

Have your fireplace Cleaned at Least Once a Year

If you are building fires in your home it is essential that you have the chimney cleaned professionally at least once a year. If you just moved into the house and have yet to use the fireplace be sure to have it checked. Flammable material can build up in your chimney and become a fire hazard.

Have the Proper Set up

You don’t want to have a burning log that needs moving and realize you don’t have the tools to do it. Having the correct tools for a fire. Setting up a metal screen on your fireplace can prevent burning embers from falling and catch shifting logs.

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Chimney Repair Tips

Brick Fireplace

Brick and other chimneys are prevalent all over the world.  For centuries, they’ve provided a beautiful and functional way to vent smoke from a fireplace, out of your home.  They can come in all shapes, sizes, and materials; the most popular of which is brick.  Often times, weather, falling trees, or vandalism can damage a brick chimney.  The following tips can help you to repair your chimney with little effort.

Replacing Bricks

When your brick chimney has been damaged, the first thing you’ll want to do is to find a safe time to climb onto your roof.  You don’t want to risk being on a sloped roof when it’s rainy or icy.  When you’ve accessed your roof, you’re going to want to remove any loose debris.  This could include broken bricks, mortar, stones, or tree branches surrounding your chimney.  Most loose debris on your damaged chimney can be pulled away using your hands, but be careful not to harm the structural integrity of the chimney.

Next, you’ll want to break away any lodged brick and mortar using a hammer and a brick chisel.  The area that you’re planning to repair must be cleaned prior to making the repairs.  Once the damaged mortar, brick, and other debris have been removed, you’ll want to use a wire brush to sweep away as much dust as possible.

Next, you’ll want to wet the area you’re going to repair with a dripping sponge.  This will allow the mortar to effectively bond the old bricks with the new ones that you’ll be using.  Once you’ve replaced your brick, allow it to dry, and clean up!

Chimney Liner Repair

It is the opinion of most chimney professionals that repairing a cracked or broken chimney liner should be avoided, and a wholesale replacement is necessary.  There has been heated discussion in the industry on this issue for many years now.

If you plan on repairing your chimney liner, it is our opinion that you give a qualified chimney professional a call to complete the work.  They can provide you with their years of experience to determine if your lining can be repaired, or if you need a complete overhaul of your system.  There are many scams out there relating to chimney liners, so it’s best to remain vigilant, and choose a repair partner that you can trust.

If you feel that you need chimney repairs, and you’re not a do-it-yourself type, give our offices a call today.  One of our friendly customer service representatives would be glad to assist you and schedule a no-risk consultation with our expert chimney sweep team today.