Few things can be as comforting as curling up on the couch on the cold evenings with a crackling fire burning in the fireplace. It not only enhances the look of the room but also increases the value of the house considerably.
While fireplaces are fantastic additions to homes, maintaining them is highly crucial to ensure that they do not turn into liabilities at a later stage.
Many homeowners tend to make mistakes while taking decisions regarding their fireplace safety. These mistakes can not only cost a lot of money but can also cost lives in extreme cases. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the right measures are taken in order to enhance the performance of the fireplace.
Let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes that homeowners tend to make regarding the safety of their fireplaces.
Not Keeping the Fireplace Area Free of Clutter
It is important to keep the area surrounding the fireplace clean and clutter-free. Ensure that there is no furniture near the fireplace. No boxes, rugs, books, household materials etc. should not be placed near the fireplace. You should take extra precaution to not place firewood near the fireplace since stray sparks landing on these logs can easily start a fire.
Using a Fireplace That Hasn’t Been Inspected
With regular usage, creosote builds up along the walls of the chimney. This can be extremely hazardous and may even result in a fire. Additionally, creosote can damage the chimney as well. Using such a fireplace can be highly risky. Therefore, it is important to get the fireplace inspected before usage. It will help in increasing the life of the fireplace and ensure that the performance is improved.
It is always wise to get in touch with a professional chimney expert to get your chimney inspected. If you live in Sevenoaks, you can get contact a chimney sweep in Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 for this purpose.
Not Installing Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Sometimes carbon monoxide gas is given off from the fireplace owing to incomplete combustion of the firewood. This gas is then expelled into the room. Carbon monoxide is highly dangerous. When inhaled in large doses, this can also be fatal. The worst part is, these toxic fumes are odorless and colorless. In other words, they are undetectable. This is why carbon monoxide is also known as the silent killer.
Therefore, it is vital to install carbon monoxide detectors near the fireplace and on every level of your house. This will alert you of the presence of this gas and you will be able to take necessary precautions to reduce risks.
Not Cleaning the Ash
After the fireplace has been active, ash gets accumulated in the hearth. Sometimes soot is also accumulated in front of the fireplace. It is crucial to clean this ash after every fire. Not only does it look bad but it can also be a fire hazard when sparks from the fireplace land on it. Additionally, if such accumulated ash is left unattended, it can reduce the air quality of your house as well.
Neglecting Fireplace Inspection when the Fireplace is Inactive
Sometimes homeowners tend to make the grave mistake of not getting their chimneys inspected when the fireplaces have not been used for a considerable amount of time. Chimneys that have not been used frequently are also susceptible to damage. This can adversely affect the structural integrity of your house.
Moisture can seep into the chimney through cracks. If the chimney cap is broken, leaves and other particles may fall in through the chimney. To detect such problems and take immediate action, you should get your chimney inspected annually by a licensed expert regardless of its usage. You can also consider cleaning your fireplace on a regular basis.
Installing a Fireplace with Inappropriate Installation
While installing fireplace in your house, it is important to ensure that your house has adequate exhaust capacity. Proper insulation should be in place in order to ensure maximum safety. In addition to that, you should also ensure that the unit is properly attached to the wall leaving no air space.
Avoiding these mistakes is highly crucial to ensure that your fireplace works efficiently. You should take extreme care to not overlook these mistakes. Proper installation and maintenance procedures can reduce fire risks considerably.