For many, winter is one of the most wonderful times of the year. It is reminiscent of the holiday season, and as the weather changes, many begin enjoying their fireplace with their loved ones.
To prepare for Santa to come down the chimney, however, it’s important in states like Indiana to consider fireplace safety tips. Here are five of the most important safety tips to remember this year before you enjoy your fireplace.
Have a chimney inspection
First and foremost, a chimney inspection is at the top of our Indiana fireplace safety tips, because many homeowners use their fireplaces seasonally. Fireplaces are typically not used 9 of the 12 months during a calendar year, so be sure to schedule your annual inspection to address concerns before problems manifest. Schedule an inspection with a certified chimney technician so your chimney is ready for the winter ahead, and for your own peace of mind.
Clean out ashes
Before you begin to enjoy your fireplace over the winter, have it cleaned. Look for any traces of ash and creosote build up. If buildup is not cleaned thoroughly, soot can easily become more flammable, potentially leading to a larger fire in your home. If there is enough build up, it’s likely that air is being blocked from fully escaping the chimney, which could lead to a chimney fire.
Open the damper
When you are not using your fireplace, a damper can prevent warm indoor air from rushing up your chimney and can save you money on your utility bill. More importantly, a damper is crucial for fire safety because they are designed to control the flow of exhaust from the fire.
Install and check your chimney cap
Chimney caps can prevent snow and other objects during the season from entering your chimney and causing additional damage. You’ll want to have one installed before the weather turns. It’s also important to make sure that your cap is working effectively. A proper cap is attached to the chimney and that the mesh covering is attached so that debris cannot penetrate.
Never leave your fire unattended
Be sure to triple check you’ve put out your fire before leaving your home and going to sleep, to ensure it’s only burning when you’re present. If need be, set an alarm on your cell phone or make it a common rule to take all precautions against a house fire