Fireplace Maintenance and Safety

May 28, 2021 | Personal Insurance

As the cold weather approaches, our bodies tend to seek warmth. The cold temperature gets drastic, and we cannot take more of it when it reaches zero or negative degrees. Fireplaces can be a cozy and beautiful addition to a home, but it’s essential to practice fireplace maintenance and safety. Here are my fireplace tips that may help you avoid fireplace troubles in the future.

Why Fireplace Maintenance is Important

The importance of fireplace maintenance comes to mind if the fire is out or you want new logs. Regardless of the lack of fame for this question among your friends, family members and random people you meet on the street, it does present an interesting issue. The issue of why we should maintain our fireplace and make a note to do it as regularly as we can. You can download this. 

Why do you need insurance? Because life is unpredictable! Don’t get caught without protection. Now is the time to make sure your family is secure. It’s time to talk to an insurance expert. Call or text us at  (720) 221-8168!

Maintain clean chimney, wood stove, and fireplace

Have them cleaned to ensure the safety and efficient work of your chimney and fireplace. Hire a licensed specialist to inspect and clean them. Do this annually to maintain its good function. Keep the hearth and everything surrounding it away from debris and other materials that burn easily. Read the manufacturer’s instructions when using a pellet stove or wood-burning stove. It contains additional guidance for proper venting and operation. 

Ensure that the fires burn safely

As part of fireplace safety that a burning log is well-guarded while it is in use, as it may start a fire. The smoke it emits should vent out properly to avoid suffocation inside your home. 

Proper Venting 

Having smoke or carbon monoxide in your home is dangerous for your health. Use dry wood only, as wet wood may start a fire because of creosote build-up in the chimney. When you use flammable liquids to begin a fire, it might cause a bigger problem. The glass doors of your fireplace must be open, too, when there is fire. 

We make it easy to compare homeowners insurance quotes so you can find the perfect fit for your home.
Get A Quote!

Materials that can cause a fire

Burning plastic, cardboard, wrapping paper, trash, or a Christmas tree in your fireplace is a no-no. Plastics release toxic chemicals that can damage your fireplace, chimney, and your wood stove. Furthermore, it is terrible for your health. When burned inside the fireplace, a Christmas tree will likely start a chimney fire because of the needle sparks. 

Extinguish fire completely

Stay in your home when the fireplace is in use. Keep an eye on it to avoid fire. Make sure that you completely extinguish the fire before going to bed. Please wait until the ashes cool down before putting them away, as they may ignite a fire inside the trash can. They take a few days before they cool down. Put them inside a metal container with a cover when you dispose of them. Keep your home at least 10 feet away from it.

Your home exterior and chimney must be kept safe.

Remember to stack your firewood away from your home for at least 30 feet. Clean and remove the leaves, pine needles, and debris from your roof and chimney. To keep debris, leaves, branches, and animals out, installing a chimney cap with a spark arrester is the right thing to do. It will also help avoid burning embers or sparks that may cause a fire hazard.

You may also be interested in this article about
how smart fire protection systems can help in fire prevention and safety

Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to keep your home interior safe

It is crucial to check your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure you’re safe during winter. If your smoke detector detects smoke from a fire, you can immediately be alarmed. Carbon monoxide detectors alert you if this hazardous gas, which is odorless and colorless, builds up. 

Testing these detectors every month is essential to ensure they’re working and can do their work in emergencies. Just a tip, a smile detector’s lifespan usually lasts from 8 up to 10 years. It’s best to replace your carbon monoxide detector when it reaches seven years.

Equip your home with a fire extinguisher

We may never tell when a fire will worsen, so it’s best to put a fire extinguisher in our home near the fireplace. It is an essential component of fire safety. However, if you’re unfamiliar with using it, you may need to learn the basics first. It will help you become prepared and comfortable if an unexpected fire happens. Knowing what to do in this situation will save your life and the other’s. 

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Ensure that everyone else is outside and safe before using the fire extinguisher. You can also call emergency services for help if you think you cannot stop the fire alone. Remember to use the PASS method when using the fire extinguisher. That’s Pull-Aim-Squeeze-Sweep.

  • Pull the pin. Some extinguishers may require a lock latch release, pressing a puncture lever, inversion, or other motion.
  • Aim the nozzle or horn of the fire extinguisher at the fire’s source.
  • Squeeze or grasp the handle, then press it.
  • Sweep and release the extinguisher’s contents from side to side at the fire’s base. 

Make sure you have a home inventory checklist. Learn about it in this video.

Other Cleaning Tips for Your Fireplace

Aside from having your fireplace cleaned by professionals, you must ensure cleaning routines to keep it safe. We know that a creosote build-up might lead to a fire every time we use our fireplace. Here are some do-it-yourself cleaning tips you may try for fireplace maintenance.

Firebox Cleaning

Scrub the inside walls of the firebox opening only to the lintel’s height with a stiff-bristle brush. Be careful upon cleaning the firebox because it might break down. Be careful not to bend corners as these edges leave holes in the wall supports where the fire will get in.

Cleaning Painted Firescreens

Clean painted fire screens by mixing one gallon of warm water and one teaspoon of ammonia with ½ cup of vinegar. Wipe all sides of the screen with a cloth dipped in the solution. Rinse after with a clean damp cloth.

Removing Soot Residue

After each fire, clean the glass facing the fire to remove any soot residue. Scrape baked-on soot from the glass with a glass scraper very carefully to avoid scratches. 

Combine a half cup of vinegar with one tablespoon of ammonia and a gallon of warm water. You can spray the solution on the glass. You may dip a clean cloth into the mix and wipe it on. Dry with a clean cloth after rinsing with warm water.

Washing Grates and Tools

The iron-cast grate may collect creosote tars or sap from burning greenwood. Grates and cast-iron tools can all be washed in the same way. Take the grate or tool outside and spray it down to clear the build-up. Scrub the surface with a stiff-bristle brush or steel-wool soap pad after applying an abrasive cleanser.

If you have pets, you’ll want to know more about keeping them safe in this article about Pet Fire Safety.

Keeping the Fireplace Tools Polished

Many items can restore andirons and brass or brass-plated tools to their original beauty. You may create your cleaning recipe for fireplace tools. Clean grime and soot from fireplace instruments by rubbing gently with fine-grade (000) steel wool dipped in vegetable oil. Use polish to keep the gloss finish. 

Secure insurance for your home

We’ll never know when an unexpected loss will happen. If your entire home gets burned by your fireplace because of negligence, you must ensure you’re insured. It would bring your pocket to the brink. Having home insurance protects you from any misfortune a fire incident may cause.

Get your free, no-obligation quote for home insurance today!
Click here to get started!

Final Thoughts

As we all know and understand the advantages of having a fireplace in our home or building, we are also reminded of the need for fireplace maintenance and safety precautions. Advantage Insurance Solutions hopes that this blog will help you figure out what you need for your fireplace and how to take care of it in your home.

And apart from fireplace maintenance and safety, if worst comes to worst, any homeowner knows the importance of having insurance.

Advantage Insurance Solutions is a top independent insurance agency in Denver, Colorado. Call or text us today at (720) 221-8168.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that some of Advantage Insurance Solutions’ articles may have affiliate links from the Amazon Associates Program, with no additional charge to the reader. Before we publish a review, we utilize and evaluate the products we recommend. In addition to the products we’ve personally tested, we’ve received recommendations from many of our readers. That said, we want to make sure it is clear that if you use our links to purchase something, we will receive a small compensation from it. Thank you.