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.