Nothing can quite compare to the feeling of sitting in front of a warm, crackling fireplace, particularly once the weather turns cold outside. As fall and winter arrive, you will start using your indoor fireplace. If you don't have one, you may decide to have one installed. In either case, before you begin to enjoy your fireplace, here are a few tips for ensuring you are able to enjoy it safely.
A Clean Fireplace Equals a Safe Fireplace
It is incredibly important that you take the steps necessary to keep your fireplace clean. Reports show that a significant percentage of home heating fires are due to unclean chimneys. The reason for this is because of the flammable substance known as creosote that is released from the wood as it is burned. By having your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once per year, you can reduce that risk. Dry wood can also help to keep your fireplace cleaner since it contains less water content.
Use the Damper Properly
The damper is the piece of equipment that helps to control the proper airflow of the chimney. This piece of equipment needs to be opened before you light the fire and should also be closed once the fire has been put out completely. This process helps to ensure that the smoke flows upward and out of the chimney. If the fireplace is not being used, make sure that the damper is closed.
Contain Any Sparks and Embers
Sparks and embers from your fire should always be contained. This can be done by stacking your fire logs toward the back of the fireplace instead of the front. What this does is help to ensure that any embers that come off of the fire fall into the fireplace instead of out of the fireplace and onto your carpet. A safety screen can also be used in front of the fireplace to contain the sparks and embers. In addition, to help prevent damage to your carpet, you can place a nonflammable rug directly in front of the fireplace.
Control the Burn
Since you have a fire going, you may be tempted to throw in some cardboard boxes, paper, or foam containers so that you can get rid of them. However, materials like this will only cause the flames of the fire to burn higher and hotter, releasing toxic particles as well as smoke. When it comes to your home fireplace, you should only be burning manufactured logs and wood. Yes, a roaring fire can be particularly exciting, but it is much safer to have a controlled fire.
For more information on fireplace safety or to have a fireplace installed in your home, visit a site like http://www.villagefireplaceandbbq.com.