Safety Around The Fireplace: Let’s Sweep Up Some Facts!
Snow is Coming. Snow is Coming to South Carolina!
If you live in the south, and in South Carolina (the Myrtle Beach area) like we do, you know how exciting the words ‘snow in the forecast’ are!
> Kids are coming home from school talking about snow, Snow, SNOW!
> Parents are making a new shopping list to include plenty of bread and milk and worrying about whether last year’s snow boots and ski pants still fit their fast-growing brood.
> Retirees are canceling appointment for ‘the day the snow will come’.
Along with the snow though, come cold and chilly nights.
In the south, we’re not made for this type of cold weather and we certainly don’t have the homes and winter clothes for extended cold periods.
However, if you own a home with a fireplace, you might be getting very exited to be able to finally use it this winter! Right?
Getting Ready for Chilly Nights!
The byproduct of enjoying a crackling flame is creosote buildup (the major cause of chimney fires) and soot, which can restrict air flow and damage the fireplace chimney. Even a gas fireplace chimney can become blocked by a bird’s nest or other debris. Prevent problems with an annual chimney inspection.
We can’t stress this enough – a failure to plan ahead is planning to fail! In order to prevent all sort of disasters, planning ahead is key!
You NEED to make sure you and your family are safe when you use your fire place and that does not just mean adding a safety screen in front of the grate (which you should have – to protect your children and your pets!). We also means making sure that your chimney is clean and cleared from debris!
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Fire Places
Carbon Monoxide poisoning is silent. If your chimney is (partially) blocked, fumes form the fire will enter your home and could potentially be deadly. Instal carbon monoxide detectors and make sure the batteries work!
Don’t be a victim!
In the afore mentioned article we read about a ‘level two chimney inspection’
A level-two chimney inspection is vital if you’ve experienced an earthquake or a dramatic weather event, like a tornado or hurricane; if you’ve made a major change to your fireplace; or bought a house.
In October 2016 the Grand Strand was hit by Hurricane Matthew, therefore it it even more important to take action now!
Additional Fire Place Safety Tips
If you have small kids and pets, a spouse, or even if you live alone, there are things to keep in mind when you stoke your indoor fire!
Here are 4 tips we feel are extremely important to remember when you light that fire place this weekend.
- Be certain the damper or flue is open before starting a fire. Keeping the damper or flue open until the fire is out will draw smoke out of the house. The damper can be checked by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror. Do not close the damper until the embers have completely stopped burning.
- Use dry and well-aged wood. Wet or green wood causes more smoke and contributes to soot buildup in the chimney. Dried wood burns with less smoke and burns more evenly
- Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of anything that is potentially flammable (ie: furniture, drapes, newspapers, books, etc.). If these items get too close to the fireplace, they could catch fire.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house. If you leave the room while the fire is burning or the fireplace is still hot, take your small child with you.
For additional fire place safety tips, read the full article by Healthy Children!