The fireplace is undoubtedly one of the luxuries that you can think of during the cold winter months when the temperature outside is freezing. Just sit in front of a fireplace and enjoy the warmth. This may sound quite romantic too for couples who would love to be together in front of a fireplace and enjoy the warmth of love. During the 17th or 18th century, mansions having the traditional chimneys were being in-style. They were the finest example of Victorian and Gregorian architecture.
People still today pause a little while passing in front of a house that has such chimneys. If you are also planning to buy a home that has a fireplace then ensure you consult a chimney sweep.
Take a glance at the following points to ensure your safety. There are various things that you must do to keep the chimney in working flawlessly:
Often people commit a mistake of not consulting a professional chimney sweep to help you ascertain if the house has a proper chimney for fumes and gasses produced by burning logs in the fireplace. They would consult an interior designer or even an architect but would seldom talk to someone or a company that provides such help. The best way is to get your house checked by a chimney and fireplace inspector.
Chimney and fireplace inspector:
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is a United States non-profit educational institute that educates American homeowners, home inspectors, chimney sweep, firefighters and related professionals about the prevention of chimney fires and carbon monoxide intrusion.
Get fireplace and chimney inspected:
Before purchasing a house, you must get your fireplace and chimney checked by a qualified home. Often the average home inspectors lack the technical knowledge. Therefore, you would need a person or a company that has been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). The CSAI has laid down essential points like conducting a level-two chimney inspection. Chimney sweep expert would inspect the fireplace and portions of the chimney system that is accessible via the roof, attic, and crawlspace areas. A professional would use the latest technologies like a specialized camera to check the condition of the chimney flue and look for any blockages. You can think of buying the home once they give the green signal stating both fireplace and chimney are safe and have been installed according to building guidelines.
Annual maintenance mandatory:
The real work ordeal is the cleaning and keeping the chimney safe from any destructive residential fires due to over depositing of gasses like the Carbon Monoxide. When you burn woods in your fireplace, it produces gasses. The chimney may get chocked due to the sticky, black substance known as creosote. These are a flammable material that causes chimney fires, which in turn cause property damage. Therefore, it is mandatory to get the chimney cleaned at least once a year. Some prefer to clean chimney themselves and land up in a mess. Always call a chimney sweep certified by CSIA. You may get hurt too while cleaning the vent due to the presence of toxic gasses. These experts are equipped with the technical knowledge required to clean the chimney.
Understand fuel types:
Try to gather the knowledge about which types of fuels to burn in the fireplace and how to use any dampers properly. You must know how to use controls that are unique to your appliance.
Equip home with fire safety measures:
Accidents don’t inform before taking place. You are required to stay prepared for any eventualities. Despite maintenance and cleaning there can be a fire. However, the damages would be much less if you ensure certain safety norms within your house. All households with fireplace and chimney must have these fire safety tools. You must have a fire extinguisher installed in your home, and everyone in the house must know how to operate. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors must be installed, and regular inspection should be done like batteries are working or the machine is in perfect condition.
Take a glance at some of the safety tools that you must keep handy:
Mesh screen: Put a mesh screen helps to contain those embers, especially more significant embers which may end up starting a fire. Embers are dangerous.
Ash bucket: After every fire, you’ll be left with a pile of soot. Keep an ash bucket handy to scoop up all of the ash that remains after your fires.
Fireplace tools and holder: You can find fireplace tool sets that have all of the necessary tools – Shovel (for ash), a poker (to move wood), tongs, and a broom.
Wood holder: If you don’t have a place to store wood that is near your fire, you can invest in a holder to keep dry wood handy.
Hearth rug: Buy a hearth rug that is designed to catch any flying embers safely. These rugs are flame-resistant and would protect the hardwood or carpet flooring.
Andirons: Andirons (or firedogs) are fireplace brackets that hold up the wood of a fire. It helps in better air circulation.
The fireplace is indeed a luxury in winters provided you take adequate precautions. These are some of the points that would help you to enjoy the warmth safely. Remember to install fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in your home. Ensure they work. You must have noticed mock drills being carried out across high rises to ensure if detectors are working or not. Finally, keep the number of chimney sweeps handy. Numerous companies are providing such help.