Thousands of residential fires are caused by chimneys. This is why homeowners must implement the proper safety procedures throughout the year.
A typical unit should be inspected annually by a certified chimney sweep. After the inspection, you must maintain the fireplace and chimney to prevent fires. Many fireplaces cause fires because homeowners use the wrong wood. This is why you must always select a proper wood. After each use, efficient cleaning is required; if you remove the ashes correctly, your home will not be at risk. Common sense is also important because most accidents happen after homeowners make simple mistakes.
Use Proper Wood
You should only use well-seasoned wood during the winter. After the wood is cut, use it within six to 12 months. All wood should be stored in an elevated location until it is ready for use. Avoid treated woods and flammable fluids because they can cause chimney problems.
A very cool fire produces more soot and particulate emissions. These issues can lead to chimney fires. To keep the fire hot, always use dried woods, such as oak, beech, maple, or ash.
Cleaning the Chimney
The hearth and the top of your chimney must be cleaned and cleared often. These areas hold hazardous material that can cause a serious fire, which can travel beyond the fireplace.
To clear the area, use a ladder and remove any branches that are 15 feet from to the chimney. If you own a saw, cut each branch in a safe manner. If you don’t have the proper training, hire a professional.
Installing a chimney cap is the next step. The cap will keep debris and small animals out of your chimney.
In the home, do not place any flammable material near the hearth. According to experts, delicate objects should be not less than three feet from the hearth. For additional protection, place a mesh or metal screen over the fireplace to block fire sparks.
Remove the Ashes Properly
After the fire goes out, use a tool to scoop up all of the ashes. Then, toss the debris in a metal bucket so that it can cool down.
Buy Better Equipment
If your fireplace was manufactured before 1992, you should upgrade it. Newer units are very pricey, but they help homeowners save a lot of money every year because they are more efficient. Another benefit is that the newest fireplaces are easy to clean since they use less fuel. Older units cause many fires because the inserts hold nearly 600 pounds of soot.
There are many old chimney-cleaning remedies; however, most people run into major problems when they try them. For example, you should never start a fire before you clean the chimney. This remedy is dangerous and not very effective. If you don’t pay attention to the fire, it could travel throughout your home. To protect your property and your family, hire a professional chimney sweeper. If your chimney is very old, you must hire a sweeper frequently.