At New Buck Chimney Services, we are passionate about educating the public about chimney safety. As part of this commitment, we are happy to announce that we will be participating in the 2015 HBA Home and Products Expo.
The Home and Products Expo gives vendors a chance to show off the latest and greatest technological innovations in their field. Our booth at the show will be dedicated to educating the public about fireplace safety. In advance of the Expo, here are some fireplace safety tips.
Chimney sweepings prevent chimney fires
In the United States, there is an average of about 24,000 chimney fires each year resulting in more than $30 million in property damages, injuries, and even loss of life. Luckily, many chimney fires can be prevented through good chimney maintenance.
An annual chimney sweep and inspection can greatly reduce your risk of chimney fire. During a chimney sweeping, a trained technician works to remove any buildup of creosote, soot, ash, or other debris in the chimney structure. In addition, an inspection ensures that all parts of the interior and exterior of your fireplace and chimney are in good condition and are not damaged in any way.
Only burn seasoned firewood
Indoor, residential fireplaces should only be used to burn well-seasoned firewood. Firewood that has been seasoned has been cut, split, stacked, and left to dry while exposed to sun and wind for at least six months. Seasoning firewood reduces the moisture content in the wood, allowing your fire to burn more efficiently, at higher temperatures, and with less smoke.
Burning items like paper and cardboard is not recommended because these highly-flammable products can quickly cause a fire to get out of control. Fires can burn out of the firebox, damaging interior furnishings, or flames can travel up the chimney, potentially igniting any creosote or debris in the chimney. Small amounts of paper may be used as kindling to help ignite wood, but should never be added to a roaring fire.
Keep smoke detectors up to date
While this may seem like an obvious safety tip, it is extremely important. Three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors. Likewise, carbon monoxide detectors should also be used in every home, especially those with fuel burning appliances such as fireplaces.
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be placed on every floor of the house, near sleeping areas, as well as near any heating appliances such as fireplaces. Alarms that are interconnected should be used whenever possible; if one alarm sounds, all the alarms in the house will then go off. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested at least every six months, and their batteries should be replaced as needed. Many homeowners find it helpful to remember to test their alarms when they change their clocks.
We are committed to helping our clients have the safest fireplaces and chimneys they can. If you have any concerns about the health of your fireplace system, contact New Buck Chimney Services today. Our staff of expert technicians can identify and repair any potential safety hazards, giving you the peace of mind to enjoy your fireplace all year long.