Make Sure Your Home’s Chimney is Safe for You and Santa

Posted by Janis Penick on Monday, December 9th, 2019 at 3:20pm.

Chimney SafetyNow that cooler weather has started, you may be ready to curl up by the fireplace on cool nights. Later this month, Santa will also be making an appearance and you definitely don’t want him to have any trouble coming down the chimney. Before fireplace burning season starts each year, it’s a good time to perform routine maintenance and a thorough cleaning of your fireplace and have a routine inspection done by a chimney professional. Having a buildup of soot and ash in your fireplace can lead to dangerous conditions when you light a fire. If you haven’t used your fireplace in a long time, it is even more important that you have an expert inspect it and make sure it is ready for the season. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends an annual inspection and cleaning with necessary repairs based on the results of the inspection. Here are some things you should be doing to keep your chimney, fireplace and home as safe as possible. 

1. Keep your fireplace clean. Burning wood creates byproducts such as ash, dust and creosote. You will need to remove these items from your fireplace regularly and sweep it thoroughly. Excess buildup of these items can create an unsafe environment. 

2. If you don’t have heat proof glass doors on your fireplace, strongly consider adding them. They are the greatest option to protect your home from sparks that can damage your home or hurt people and pets. 

3. Make sure you are burning the best wood for your fireplace. Hardwoods are better choices for the amount of heat they provide and they will leave less creosote buildup behind. If you aren’t sure what to burn, ask an expert. 

4. Never burn a fire in your fireplace when you aren’t home or are outside. Remember how quickly a fire can get out of hand. If you aren’t at home, you will not be there to respond or call for help. While most fires in a fireplace don’t result in anything dangerous, it’s like leaving a child at home alone and is a risk you shouldn’t take.

Beyond regular cleaning after fires, having your fireplace and chimney checked annually and keeping it clear of buildup will ensure the safety of your home and your family. A fireplace can be a nice selling feature of your home and a wonderful place to gather with family and friends but is not something you can take lightly when it comes to maintenance. 

The Janis Penick Team

RE/MAX Bastrop Area
Serving Bastrop, Cedar Creek and Smithville
janis@janispenick.com

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