Your fireplace or stove is the focus of family gatherings and a great way to take the chill off during the coldest winter nights. For many homeowners, it’s a basic necessity. It can also be a source of danger to your home and family. A fireplace that is improperly cared for or installed incorrectly may start a fire where you don’t want one, namely inside your chimney or adjacent walls. Although you remove them often, ashes indicate energy efficiency, showing that the fire completely consumed the fuel source. It’s what doesn’t turn into ash that puts your home at risk.
Reducing the Likelihood of a Chimney Fire
According to the NFPA, the second leading cause of house fires is heating equipment, and two out of three heating equipment fires result from heating appliances, which includes fireplaces, chimneys and modular stoves. Of the fires that start in the chimney or fireplace, most are a direct result of creosote deposits or improper installation of the equipment. Sadly, most are preventable with regular inspections, maintenance and installation by a licensed professional. Prevent your home from becoming part of these statistics by scheduling routine system inspections to catch dangerous conditions before they catch you.
Keeping Your Chimney Clean is Crucial
Regular chimney cleanings will remove the inevitable buildup of creosote and soot. Unfortunately, there’s no simple rule of thumb for when to do it. Don’t rely on the standard advice of having it done once a year or at some other set time. Clean your chimney when it needs it—when the creosote is thick enough to warrant cleaning. You’ll never be able to keep your chimney 100% creosote-free, but if left to sit, it will eventually harden into a stubborn glaze that’s even virtually impossible to remove without the proper tools.
Keep an Eye on Your Chimney
Obviously, if you notice problems with any part of your chimney system during your personal once-overs, you should immediately contact a licensed professional to do a more thorough inspection. Unfortunately, procrastination where your home heating equipment is concerned is nothing more than playing a game of Russian roulette! Until your chimney service professional gives you the all clear, refraining from using any damaged equipment is a smart move. It’s far better to err on the side of caution.
Inspecting your home heating equipment and making sure that it has been installed according to all applicable codes is critical to ensuring your house doesn’t become another house fire statistic. The system should be inspected inside and out. The entire process takes less than an hour or two for even the most cautious and painstaking inspection but is well worth the time. The payoff for ensuring that your home heating equipment is in prime working condition is priceless—peace of mind every time you start a fire. This is why having a thorough heating system inspection completed annually is the best way to keep your equipment safe and in good working order. If you’ve begun shopping for a replacement for your ineffective equipment, look no further than Northeastern Fireplace & Design. We strive to make shopping for your new appliance and all the accessories you want as easy as possible. Our team is here to help you from the initial search to annual maintenance and repairs.