Your fireplace is an asset that increases the value of your home substantially. However, significance lies in understanding the potential hazards it presents.
There are several owners who unknowingly make grievous mistakes while using the chimney or the fireplace. Make sure not to light another fire before ascertaining you are not making any of these mistakes since that can lead to really deadly situations.
Absence of Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Home
Fireplace is one of the dominant sources of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is produced whenever fuels like gas, wood, charcoal or kerosene are burned. This is an invisible gas and has no smell either. Carbon monoxide is deadly when consumed in huge amounts.
In case your chimney gets blocked, accumulated carbon monoxide may enter your room, endangering you and your family.
If you keep the appliances in proper working form, it guarantees reduced carbon monoxide production.
Appliances that are not working properly may produce deadly carbon monoxide concentration. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be caused by the usage of charcoal grill inside the house or if you leave your car running in the garage as well.
The carbon monoxide sources include furnace, room heaters, charcoal grill, etc.
Here are a few fireplace safety tips to observe
- The fuel burning appliances or fireplaces must have at least one carbon monoxide detector situated ideally in the sleeping area or the hallway
- Charcoal lighter, gasoline or other fuel should not be used for lighting or rekindling a fire as the vapours may explode
- Wood burning and the gas powered fireplaces are common sources of carbon monoxide. Make sure to keep the window open at least a few inches to ensure passage of fresh air.
Leaving the Chimney Dirty
There are several homeowners who regularly use the chimney but seldom clean it. The significance lies in getting the chimney cleaned by a professional occasionally.
You also need to be careful and remain wary of the danger signs.
Be on the lookout for chipped mortar or cracked bricks. Soot falling down the chimney is yet another red flag.
Make sure that you are using a chimney cap. Apart from the dangers in the form of creosote build-up and cracked bricks, there can also be danger in the form of animal nests or other debris. Since chimneys remain warmer than the rest of the surrounding long after the fire goes out, several birds and animals prefer to make a nest in the chimney flue. Chimney caps will aid in ensuring safety.
Keeping Combustibles Close to the Fireplace
Make sure that you keep the combustibles significantly away from the fireplace. The combustibles can be anything ranging from books to furniture.
Make sure that you keep a sturdy screen in front of the fireplace as well so that in case an ember pops out, it does not come in the living room directly damaging the furniture and endangering your safety.
Inadequate Chimney Maintenance
A significant section of house fires is caused by chimneys that are not cleaned or maintained properly. Several homeowners fail to realise that fire in the fireplace can damage the chimney flue substantially.
Fires leave behind creosote deposits in the fireplace. If the creosote build-up is not got rid of on time and is allowed to accumulate, it becomes extremely flammable, causing a chimney fire.
As you can guess, the chimney fires are quite dangerous. Intensely hot, they can damage the chimney lining as well as the chimney masonry. In case the lining is not repaired and the chimney not cleaned on time, the chimney fire may lead to a house fire within little time.
The chimney fires usually cause the roof to catch fire. And in case the roof catches fire, your whole house will be engulfed soon, giving little chance to you and your family members escape.
There are several homeowners who try to clean the chimney by self or get in touch with the uncertified chimney sweeps to get the job done. This can cause a real hazard. Chimneys must be inspected and cleaned thoroughly at least once a year. In case this job is not undertaken properly, you run the risk of a chimney fire. So make sure that you get in touch with the certified chimney cleaning professionals only to accrue the best result.