Safety Tips for Having a Wood-Burning Fireplace

A wood-burning fireplace is a great feature to have in any home, but as with anything else, there are a number of safety precautions that you need to take into consideration. Wood-burning fireplaces can also be a serious hazard to you and your family, particularly if there are young children in the home. Therefore, it is essential that you keep some important safety tips in mind. Read on as we share our top 5 safety tips for having and using your wood-burning fireplace.

Have Regular Professional Inspections

Have a qualified contractor experienced in chimney repair inspect your fireplace and chimney regularly. A good time to do this would be before you use it for the first time each year and after the season is over. Here at Atlanta Chimney Doctor, our experts perform thorough inspections to spot any issues.

Check Often for Buildup

As you use your fireplace, a substance known as creosote will build up in your fireplace and in your chimney. As it is safe to do so, check your chimney for excess creosote buildup and have a chimney sweep come to perform a chimney inspection and cleanup of this buildup so that you can continue to use your fireplace throughout the season without serious health issues and fire damage.

Only Burn Firewood

Often people will burn whatever wood they can find without really thinking about whether that wood has been treated. Pretreated and wood that has been treated or painted will release toxic fumes into your home if burned in your fireplace, so make sure not to burn these at all. Make sure that you are only ever burning firewood in your fireplace and leave any construction scraps, garbage, or wood that you are unsure whether it has been treated already out where it belongs.

Do Not Make It Easily Accessible

Many people have fire-related accidents in their homes because they simply did not take the proper precautions to protect their homes and families from the fire damage. Make sure that you have installed sufficient screens and fire-resistant glass doors in front of your fire that have locking mechanisms on it to keep small hands out of the fireplace, even when you think it is not hot enough to burn them.

Have Any Blockages Cleared

Make sure that there are no blockages in your chimney or flue that would prevent smoke and ash from escaping your home. Smoke inhalation is a very serious danger to home occupants and if you have young children in the home, this can be especially dangerous for lungs that are not completely developed yet. Professional chimney repair can help you determine whether your wood fireplace is safe to use as well as identify any blockages that might prevent smoke and ash from ventilating out and away from your home properly.

12/05/14

Things to Know about Chimney Liners

There’s nothing like a cozy fire when the temperature drops. Fireplaces and stoves are an excellent way to heat your home, but it’s important to maintain your chimney as well as your fireplace. It’s also important to keep your chimney liner in good condition or to have one installed if your chimney currently does not have a liner. Here are some things you should know about chimney liners.

Purposes

Chimney liners keep your home safe in three important ways. The first function of a liner is to keep heat from transferring to materials that could catch fire, including woodwork that surrounds the chimney.

The second function of a liner is to keep flue gases from going into the mortar and brick of the chimney. Fires have corrosive byproducts that can eventually wear away the chimney materials if the gases are able to penetrate these materials. This also increases the risk of dangerous carbon monoxide leaking into the home as the chimney wears away.

The final purpose of a chimney liner is to increase the efficiency of stoves and furnaces. If the liner is an incorrect size, gases won’t escape properly and the draft that aids in combustion won’t be optimal. This can cause creosote buildup and additional carbon monoxide.

Liner Materials

Older chimneys likely have clay tiles to form a liner. They work well and are not very expensive, but there are some disadvantages to clay. It’s more difficult for clay to absorb and distribute heat, which can cause problems in the event of a chimney fire. The tiles will crack, making the liner less effective and requiring replacement.

Stainless steel liners are much more common today for a number of reasons. They are an excellent choice for upgrading or repairing chimneys because they work for any type of fireplace, stove, or furnace. If you need a new liner, we can install a quality stainless steel liner.

Advantages of Steel

  • Most companies that install chimney liners recommend stainless steel as a replacement for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most appealing advantage of stainless steel is that it has a lifetime warranty, so it’s obvious that is a durable material
  • Another advantage of stainless steel is that it provides the best protection for your fireplace and home than any other material. You can cut costly chimney repairs because the brick and mortar will be protected from corrosive byproducts.
  • Since stainless steel liners are installed as one piece, there is no shifting or cracking that could allow dangerous gases to leak into your home.
  • Stainless steel liners can be insulated before insertion into the flue, or insulation can be added afterwards. This keeps combustion gases hotter all the way out the chimney, reducing creosote condensation. Cold downdrafts when not burning a fire are also reduced.

12/01/14