Do it Yourself Fireplace Maintenance and Safety
Fireplace maintenance is so important to keeping your house free of harmful chemicals, and diminishing the possibility of harmful debris from igniting in your chimney. Fireplace safety is easy to observe, and with these tips there’s no reason not to keep your fireplace neat, safe, and working efficiently for you.
Remember – fireplaces are NOT furnaces. Never burn a fire for more than five hours in your fireplace, and only use it for short duration fires. If possible, keep the glass door open to allow cool air to go up the chimney. However, when doing so it’s important to keep a fireplace spark screen around the fireplace to avoid sparks from sputtering out onto your living room rug! It’s important to never leave a fire unattended, especially if there are children in the room. Children can become curious around fires, so it’s vital for everyone’s safety to keep a close eye on fires when children are present. A nonflammable rug should be placed in front of your fireplace or woodstove to catch any sparks or ashes that can sputter onto the floor. This way you can avoid any damage to the quality carpet or hardwood flooring already in your home. After your fireplace has cooled, be sure to clean the glass with dishwashing detergent and newspaper to keep it spotless. If you’re cleaning up after a fire, never vacuum up the ashes, because there could still be hot coals in the ashes. Instead, wait at least 24 hours and sweep out your chimney, disposing of the ashes in a metal container until they are completely cooled.
Beyond sweeping out your fireplace, schedule regular inspections and sweepings of your fireplace and chimney. While fireplace maintenance can be performed on a do-it-yourself basis, debris and creosote can build up in your chimney, and without proper tools can be left unseen until it’s too late. Take care of your fireplace and practice safety when using it to ensure a relaxing fireplace experience for your whole family.