A fireplace is a wonderful thing. One of the most enjoyable parts of winter is gathering together in front of a crackling fireplace with your friends and loved ones. But be careful – your fireplace may be a great source of warmth and ambiance, but it can be a hazard if it isn’t operated or maintained properly.
The two main hazards related to fireplaces are a lack of proper maintenance, and leaving a fire unscreened or unattended. An improperly maintained fireplace can lead to a buildup of creosote, which may result in a dangerous chimney fire. Using a fireplace without a screen creates the risk of red-hot embers landing on your floor or carpet.
While fireplace safety is certainly an important concern, there are two easy steps that you can take in order to minimize the danger to your health and home!
Before starting any fire in your home, gas or wood, the first step is to install working carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” – tasteless and odorless, it is lethal if you don’t realize that you are inhaling it before it is too late.
Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased at any hardware store, with pricing starting at around $30. There are combination alarms available that will detect both carbon monoxide and smoke. This is a small investment to make for the safety of your home and loved ones.
You’d probably agree that it’s a good idea to have your car inspected regularly, just to make sure that everything is still in good condition and that the vehicle is safe to drive. The same principle holds true for fireplaces – like car problems, fireplace damage is often not immediately visible, especially to untrained eyes. It’s important have your fireplace and chimney inspected upon installation of a new fireplace, and at least once a year from then on. Issues like a cracked flue liner, foundation issues, creosote buildup, bird’s nests, a cracked chimney crown, or cracked mortar need to be promptly addressed in order to keep your fireplace safe to use.
Visit our showroom and schedule a complimentary consultation by calling us at 416.239.3556.