Tips for Fireplace and Chimney Safety

Keeping your Ohio Valley home safe this Fall.

Fire safety is something we at Fireplace ‘N’ Fixin’s encourage all-year round. However, as the fall and winter seasons approach we see an upswing in fireplace and chimney use. As the cooler months descend upon the Ohio Valley, friends and neighbors tend to burn more fires for the ambiance and comforts of a warm hearth. Before you and your family gather around the fireplace, Fireplace ‘N’ Fixin’s wants to provide a real-life look into the importance of indoor fireplace and chimney safety.

When it comes to statistics, numbers don’t lie. In July 2018, the National Fire Protection Association reported that between 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an unprecedented 358,500 house fires over the course of four years. That’s an average of almost 90,000 per year and a total number of 2,510 civilian deaths due to fire and smoke-related injuries. Do you know what the second leading cause of these fires were? Fireplace, chimney and other heat-related sources. While accidents do happen, many house fires can be prevented.

Let’s look at how you can prevent a house fire in your own home.

Annual Chimney Sweep & Inspection.
If you intend on using your fireplace at all this season, be sure to schedule an annual chimney sweep. Your chimney and flue’s function are to funnel dangerous gases and smoke out of your house. If this isn’t happening, you and your family may be in danger. When you burn a fire in your fireplace, an indication of a dirty chimney may include:

  • Very loud, cracking and popping noises Fireplace Maintenance Pittsburgh
  • Dense and thick smoke
  • Intense heat

 

NEVER Add Accelerant!

We hear this all the time, people adding gasoline, kerosene, grilling lighter fluid – even tiki torch fluid to an outdoor bonfire or fire-pit. While we suggest you never add accelerant to any outdoor fire, we can’t be more serious when we tell residents to NEVER, under any circumstance, add accelerant to an indoor fire! Some accelerants, like gasoline, are so flammable fire can follow the fluid or vapors back to the individual pouring it, creating a container explosion. Dousing the fire can also cause a major fireball to ignite and anything that may drip on the floor or rug can quickly catch fire. NEVER. EVER. EVER add accelerant to a fire.

Food Containers
There’s nothing better than cozying up with the family for some take-out, a roaring fire and a movie to complete family night! However, once you’re done munching, put any food containers in the recyclables or proper garbage receptacle. As tempting as it may seem to just toss them right in the fire, take-out and delivery containers can produce toxic fumes from the plastics and other non-biodegradable polymers used to create them. When it doubt, throw it out!

Colored Paper
You may not think about it, but magazines, weekend circulars, and postcard mailers are loaded with colored inks that are made up of chemicals. Tossing them into the fire produce yet another form of toxins that are dangerous to your health.

Chemically Treated Woods, Coal and Charcoal. 
Wood treated with chemicals are for building, not burning! The chemicals used to treat wood, when burned, emit fumes that produce carcinogens or cancer-causing substances. Coal and charcoal are only to be burned in something specifically built for burning coal and charcoal. High levels of carbon monoxide are released when burned and your chimney is not equipped to safely remove gases of the sort.

Call Fireplace ‘N’ Fixin’s and schedule your annual chimney inspection and sweep today! Located along the Ohio River in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio, we service portions of OH, WV, and PA. Call 740-635-3766 today!