This season, make sure your fireplace is holiday ready with these tips from Chimney Sweeps of America in Denver. The holidays just are the perfect time to gather with family around the hearth, but only if your fireplace is safe and ready for use. We’ve all seen the statistics about house fires, and our team of professionals is here to help you avoid becoming one of them.
Get It Cleaned
If you haven’t yet gotten your fireplace cleaned for the winter, do it now. You may just have decided that you won’t use yours until you get it cleaned. But believe us, you’ll be so tempted to use your cozy fireplace once guests start arriving. Plus, isn’t that the point of having a fireplace? You want to have that perfect holiday atmosphere, including having a fire going during the festivities.
But if your chimney is full of creosote or blocked by animal nests, using a fireplace could spell disaster for your holidays. Many house fires are caused by dirty chimneys, so let us give it a good sweep and make sure your fireplace is holiday ready.
Follow Basic Safety Precautions
During the holidays, as well as the rest of the year, be sure to have smoke detectors on every floor. Test them periodically to ensure they are working correctly and change out the batteries as needed.
If you don’t already have one, install a carbon monoxide detector. If you do have one, be sure that it is working properly. Most come with a button for testing, so check the owner’s manual. Carbon monoxide is odorless, so without an indicator, you may not realize there is a problem in time.
With a clean chimney and precautions in place, it’s time to enjoy your fire. Be sure to only use seasoned firewood. Wet wood creates a lot more smoke which dirties up your chimney much faster and carries more risk of releasing toxic gases inside your home. When the fire is out, be careful about where you toss out your old ashes. Hot ashes improperly disposed of can start a fire.
Special Holiday Safety Precautions
Remember to keep all flammable materials at least 3 feet away from your fireplace. That includes your wrapped gifts, decorations and Christmas tree. Keep everything a safe distance away. While opening presents under the tree next to the fireplace may make a great photo op, the risk isn’t worth it. You’ll also want to keep a fire extinguisher on hand at all times just in case.
Don’t burn wrapping paper or other garbage in your fireplace. It isn’t designed for that, and your chimney will get dirtier much faster. It’s also not a good idea to burn your tree in the fireplace after you take it down. Yes, it may be wood, but it hasn’t been adequately seasoned for use in the fireplace.
Now that you know how to make sure your fireplace is holiday ready, feel free to call us here at Chimney Sweeps of America. We’re happy to help our customers with chimney cleaning and repair, as well as servicing fireplaces and wood stoves. With our 35 years of experience, we can help you with everything you need to keep your home and family safe.