Chimneys are primarily a heating system that sustains the combustion process and the release of heat. Their use does involve a certain degree of risk, which is generally proportionate to their age and type. In order to ensure that chimneys do their job safely you will need to do regular maintenance and use some common sense with proper use.
Before lighting the first fire of the season follow these maintenance tips:
1. Chimneys can be complicated systems and you should use qualified professionals to perform an annual inspection and provide cleaning and repairs as needed.
2. Ensure that a chimney cap is installed to prevent blockage from animals or pests.
3. Install both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, ensuring batteries are changed twice a year. Alarms should be changed at ten years of age.
4. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand and ensure everyone in the home knows its location and how to operate it.
5. Dampers should be maintained in the open position. Natural gas fireplaces should have a damper installed permanently in the open position.
As you snuggle in front of a cozy fire, the last thing you are likely to be thinking about is the condition of your chimney. However, you should be giving some thought to this before you light those winter fires. Dirty or damaged chimneys can cause fires, destroy homes and injure people. The facts show that fireplaces start approximately 14,000 house fires each year. So, consider the importance of having your chimney inspected and serviced to prevent a potential dangerous and extremely costly situation. |
For more on this or other home care subjects, contact Scott at www.scottsauer.com.