Fire place safety tips
A warm cozy fire keeps you warm and is beautiful to look at. But are you using your fireplace correctly? There are some things you can do to ensure the safety and comfort of your family, while using a fireplace. Here are some things to ensure you are using your fireplace safely.
Christmas trees, or for that matter any evergreen tree is not a good idea to burn in a fireplace. This is due to the high sap content that tends to burn very hot and create a lot of creosote, making a chimney fire more likely. The idea of a Yule Log from a Christmas tree sounds like a good tradition but in actuality the Christmas tree was not used as all. Even when the tradition of the Yule log was started it was known to use a hard wood.
Speaking of creosote keep your wood dry, which is easier to light is a best practice. Wet wood produces a lot more smoke and thus creosote is carried up the chimney. Not all of it clears the chimney as it accumulates and sticks to the side of the flue liner. If you use your fireplace quite a lot then several inches of creosote can accumulate over the course of the season. That is why it is important to have your chimney serviced by a professional chimney sweep annually.
Never start your fire with lighter fluid or gasoline. These products have specific uses and conditions that they are supposed to be used in. Gas is used in a closed system with an exhaust outdoors. The chemicals in these products are not meant to be inhaled or used indoors. They can also make the fire burn hotter than what the flue liner may be rated for. This can cause damage to the flue liner. It could also be the accelerant to starting that creosote fire.
Reducing your recycle bin by burning magazines or trash might seem like a good idea on the surface. But in reality, your subjecting your family to some toxins that could be dangerous to inhale. Paper plates and even cardboard are often usually coated with a plastic compound. Magazines have chemicals that are used in the inks to print on the paper. The best thing to use to start a fire is to take and ax and splinter off small kindling of wood. The smaller pieces will light easily and when combined with other shavings of wood will light your fire just fine.
You can not avoid creosote completely and that is why is important to service the fireplace and chimney each year. If you do have a fire in your home, you can count on the services of SERVPRO of West Forsyth County. It’s best to call us directly 336-946-1131