Preparing Your Fireplace
Everyone enjoys a warm fire on a cold winter’s night, but it can be challenging to know where to start when it comes to preparing your fireplace. Here are a few easy ways to prepare your fireplace for use this season.
Call a Professional to Prepare Your Fireplace for Use
You might be inclined to skip this first step, as it can cost some money to have your fireplace professionally inspected and cleaned. However, if you want peace of mind, this is the best way to achieve that while making your fireplace safe.
It is recommended to have your chimney cleaned and inspected once every year (or roughly every 80 burns) to ensure the safe operation of your fireplace.
Prepare Your Fireplace for Use by Looking for Cracks and Damage
One simple step to prepare your fireplace is looking for cracks and other damage. You will need to inspect the firebricks on both the inside and outside of the home. A professional should repair any damaged firebricks, as a specific process must be followed to make it safe.
Maintain the Chimney Cap and Damper
Every season check that your chimney cap and fireplace damper are in good working order. Make sure debris has not made its way into your chimney, as this will lead to complications and safety hazards. The chimney cap should be firmly in place with no visible damage and open for air to flow freely.
Your fireplace damper should also be in good condition. When you prepare your fireplace for use, check to see that the damper opens and closes easily. If the damper is jammed or if you notice poor air flow, have a professional repair it.
Practice Fire Safety
While preparing your fireplace for use, test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work. Install fresh batteries in each unit to know that they will be powered through the season. If the unit is over 10 years old, replace it.
Fire extinguishers should also be present in the home and easily accessible. Check the expiration dates and pressure gauge. If expired or has low pressure, it should be replaced or recharged immediately. More information about basic fire safety can be readily found online or from your local fire department.
The simplest way to prepare your fireplace for use is to do routine maintenance. Clean your fireplace once a week, taking care to sweep up ash and remove spent logs. Keep the exterior of the fireplace clean and free of dust and debris. Use doors or screens to minimize sparks and keep them clean and in working order. Make sure the fireplace is cool and that you follow safety guidelines before doing any maintenance.
It is easy to prepare your fireplace for use when you follow a few simple guidelines. Consult a professional if you have any questions or concerns about using or maintaining your fireplace.