As the weather gets colder, many families turn to the fireplace to add warmth and atmosphere to their homes. It’s great for keep utility costs low while keeping everyone nice and toasty. But this convenient heated area also comes with its drawbacks, including dangerous fire hazards that can damage the entire home. Just be sure to keep these fireplace safety tips in mind to ensure a safe and warm home this winter.
What to Do in Case of Fire Damage
No doubt, fires are one of the most dangerous and destructive natural disasters, and can ruin the holidays if not cleaned on a regular basis. In addition, they can also start house fires from sparks, burning wood, and scorching ash, shooting out from the fire and onto the carpet. At any time you have experienced severe fire damage, don’t hesitate to call an emergency fire damage restoration company.
ServiceMaster is available 24/7 and will arrive within 2 hours of your initial call to prevent the smoke from spreading after the flames are extinguished. After the initial inspection, they will treat all affected surfaces with commercial products to return them to their original condition. Within a timely manner, you can look forward to a safe holiday season after returning to a fully restored home.
Fireplace Preventative Maintenance
Annual inspection and cleaning is critical to operating your fireplace safely. Hire a chimney sweep to inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney before you use your fireplace this winter.
Causes of a Chimney Fire
Many chimney fires are caused by the buildup of creosote, a byproduct of burning wood that smells terrible and coats the inside of your chimney. Over time, the accumulation of the creosote will form a thick layer along the liners and pipes, blocking them until they break, fall, and cause the chimney fire.
The first sign of a chimney fire will usually be a loud crackling or poppin
g noise through the stovepipe. You may even notice flames coming out of your chimney! Don’t hesitate to call 911 when seeing this, followed by wetting newspaper with water and throwing it in the fireplace. The steam produced from the water and flames would help to put out the fire.
Prevent Fire Damage
After you have had your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned, there are some precautions you should take to prevent fire damage in your home:
- Keep the fireplace area clear of flammable materials, including paper, fabrics such as curtains or upholstered furniture, and wood.
- Use dry wood, or else you will be dealing with large amounts of smoke coming out of the fireplace.
- Use a creosote powder. This will literally turn the creosote into a powder, not to be replaced as the chimney cleaner, but will help to reduce the buildup.
- Do not use accelerants such as lighter fluid or gasoline to ignite a fire.
- Do not overload the fireplace. If you use artificial logs, use them one at a time.
- Have the chimney professionally inspected and clean annually.
Chimney Sweep Cost
Look for a chimney sweep that is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. This certification assures you that the chimney sweep has had extensive safety training in modern chimney cleaning methods.
You can expect to spend between $400 and $600 to have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned. The costs can vary depending on how often you have your chimney cleaned and how high or steep your roof is. The chimney sweep will have to climb onto your roof to clean the top of the chimney. If your roof is particularly difficult or dangerous, the job will cost more. If your chimney has several years of soot and debris built up, the job will take longer and cost more than if you had this service performed annually.