When you live in Texas, like we at Window Wizards are, the weather can be somewhat unpredictable. But nonetheless, cold weather is coming! Before you start cutting firewood and lighting it up in the fireplace, make sure your chimney is cleaned and safely ready to warm your entire home.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America offers tips to keep wood burning fireplaces and wood stoves clean and clear from the top of the chimney to bottom of the firebox:
- Have chimneys inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary, by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. This reduces the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisonings due to creosote buildup or obstructions in the chimneys. To locate a certified sweep, visit the CSIA Web site at www.csia.org or call 1-800-536-0118. A certified sweep can also perform maintenance on your wood stove or help remove gas logs from a fireplace.
- Keep the top of chimneys clear of tree limbs or debris.
- Install a chimney cap to keep debris and animals out of the chimney.
- Fuel the fire safely. For burning firewood in wood stoves or fireplaces, choose well-seasoned wood that has been dried for a minimum of six months to a year and stored properly.
- Build it right. Place firewood or firelogs at the rear of the fireplace on a supporting grate. To start the fire, use a firelighter.
- Keep the hearth area clear. Debris too close to the fireplace, or to a wood stove, could easily catch fire.
- Use a fireplace screen. Use a metal, mesh or screen in front of the fireplace to catch flyaway sparks that could ignite.
- Be careful not to overload the fireplace. Add one manufactured firelog at a time or no more than a couple of pieces of firewood. Never burn garbage or glossy paper products.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Place detectors throughout the house and make sure to check the batteries each month.
- Never leave a fire unattended. Before turning in for the evening, be sure that the fire is fully extinguished. Supervise children and pets closely around wood stoves and fireplaces.
When it comes to cleaning your fireplace, always remember: safety first. And when it’s time to clean your windows, let the professionals do it! For more information, LIKE our Facebook page!