What better way to warm up on a chilly winter day than by sitting by a warm, cozy fire? Fireplaces are great – they provide an electricity-free source of heat and light (perfect for when the power goes out) and a place for the family to gather ’round and spend some quality time together.
While they are a fantastic addition to any home, they can also be dangerous if they are not properly cared for. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), chimneys and fireplaces cause more than more than 20,000 fires every year.
Protect your home and family from tragedy by following these safety tips this season.
Contain The Flame
An open fireplace is asking for trouble, so make sure to keep yours covered with a glass or wire mesh screen (glass is better because there are no small holes for embers to escape through). Even with a screen, you should still make sure keep the area around your fireplace clear, and trim any low branches hanging above your chimney – these can also present a fire hazard.
Put A Cap On It
A good, reliable chimney cap only costs about $100, and it offers numerous benefits. For one, it prevents animals such as raccoons, squirrels, birds, and even snakes from entering your chimney and your home. It also helps to keep out rain and snow, and prevents strong winds from causing a downdraft and filling your house with smoke.
Burn Firewood, And Only Firewood
Burning items such as crates, construction scraps, and painted wood isn’t necessarily a fire hazard, but it can harm your family in other ways. These types of wood are generally coated in chemicals which can release when burning – compromising the air quality of your entire home.
Have Your Chimney Inspected Annually
A professional chimney inspection may cost you a pretty penny, but you can’t put a price on your peace of mind. Every autumn, have a certified specialist inspect your chimney for signs of deterioration and creosote build up, both of which can present problems for your home.
Smoke detectors won’t prevent a fire, but they will make your family aware of one very quickly. Make sure to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed on every floor (if not every room) of the house, including one near your fireplace.
The experts at Devine Bros. know a thing or two about heating; that’s why Fairfield County has depended on us to keep warm for almost 100 years! If you live in Norwalk, Connecticut or the surrounding area and need heating oil this winter, give us a call at (203) 866-4421.