How Safe Is It To Use A Fireplace? – Learn From An Expert
Like any other appliance you have in your home, the safety and efficiency of your fireplace unit directly depend on how you utilize it. In other terms, to experience an optimal performance from your fireplace while enjoying protection, you must install, maintain, and service it correctly.
In this post, we will walk you through Ten major Guidelines that you should practice when around your fireplace. These simple guidelines will guarantee you of the ultimate safety as well as the efficient operation of your unit.
They’ll keep your fireplace at its best- at all times- offering you a lifetime of pleasure, enjoyment and excellent service.
Let’s dive into the details:
1. Use Dry, Cured Wood Only
The first step to ensuring maximum efficiency in your fireplace involves using dry, cured logs as your source of energy. In other words, use logs that are split, stacked and dried for around 8-12 months.
Spread the log heap on the top part, and leave the sides open for easy air flow.
Logs from hardwoods e.g. white oak, hickory, sugar maple, white ash and beech burn for a longer time, unlike other logs. However, dry logs are more important than all these species.
Less dense firewood such as spruce and white pine will burn excellently well if adequately dried, but you'll have to add more wood to the fire regularly, as per the “Chimney Safety Institute of America” (CSIA).
2. Ensure You Burn Firewood and Firewood Only!
Burning crates, painted wood, lumber, construction scraps, or any other treated wood in your fireplace discharges harmful chemicals. The chemicals, in turn, lead to air pollution in your home.
Log starters are excellent to get your wood chimney going. Because they burn extremely hot, just utilize one piece for every time you’re starting your fireplace.
3. Close the Damper When Not Using Your Fireplace
Why? Simply stated, this will keep off warm indoor air from escaping up the chimney. View this hot air as the hard-earned dollars you’re spending to heat your room.
Would you leave these dollars to escape throughout the damper opening that you could have closed?
4. Keep The Bifold Glass Doors Wide Open When Using The Fireplace
This is necessary to enable the heat generated to get into your room easily.
And if your fireplace is factory built and comes with circulating fan, make sure you keep the doors shut to avoid unnecessary heat loss.
5. Does Your Fireplace Have a Chimney Cap?
If no, you need to install one ASAP!
And the reason behind it? Well, the cap will keep off rain, snow and other objects from falling into the chimney.
As you know, the presence of any of the above substance in your chimney will significantly contribute to reduced downdrafts. The caps come with side vents so smoke will quickly escape.
Your chimney cleaner will usually provide and install a stainless steel cap- which is a better alternative to the galvanized metal since it does not rust. A cop will cost somewhere between $50 and $200.
6. Replace The Poorly Sealed Damper to Avoid Heat Loss
Look for a top mounted damper that doubles as a rain cap.
This will help provide a tighter closure, unlike the traditional damper that you might be using for your wood fireplace.
7. Install Smoke Detectors as well as Carbon Monoxide Detectors
You want to ensure that you’re completely safe when using your fireplace right? One way you can do this is by installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Place them close to your wood fireplace and also in the bedroom area.
They’ll be able to alert you whenever these hazardous substances have invaded your home. This way, you’ll be able to take the necessary actions on time.
8. Clean Your Chimney Twice every Year
If you burn over three cords of wood every year, this is a must do exercise for you.
A cord is 4 feet high x 4 feet wide x 8 feet long. Or you can equate it to an amount that will fill two full-size pickup trucks.
9. Start Your Fire Slowly; Add More Logs As It Heats
Among other things, doing this will ensure that you burn your fire safely.
At the same time, keep the damper of your wood chimney entirely open to help build draw in the early fire stages. Burn your fire hot, occasionally- with the damper fully open all the way to keep smoke from wandering in the chimney and the creosotes from developing.
10. NEVER Leave Your Fireplace Unattended
(Particularly if you have children around). If you must move from the fire, make sure it has fireguard or a spark guard. A securely fixed fireguard will be a better choice if you have kids in the room.
These are top 10 guidelines that will guarantee you an efficient and 100% safe fireplace in your home. The guidelines are easy to follow and will additionally make your unit last for a longer time. You’ll be able to enjoy excellent services, safely, for years!