If you have just purchased a home with a fireplace and you have never had to maintain one in the past, you will want to brush up on some ways to reduce the risk of spreading fire when you use it. Here are some tips to use when using your fireplace this coming winter to help you stay safe in the process.
Allow Time For Embers To Burn
When using a fireplace, the ash left behind can lie dormant within the fire box of your fireplace for several hours. If you try to remove the ash before it has had time to be totally extinguished, you put your home at risk for exposure to fire when you move the debris. Give the ash at least 24 hours to burn out completely before removing from your fireplace. Place the ash in a metal container and place a lid on top of it. Never use a vacuum to remove ash as the rapid air movement can cause an unextinguished ash to come alive. Instead, use a fireplace brush and pan to remove from your fireplace.
Add Some Extra Protection
Use some fire stop caulking around your chimney (contact a local outlet, such as Walser Contracting Ltd concrete cutting) and around the interior of your fireplace opening to help contain your fire in the area in which it is meant to burn. This material can withstand several hours of hot temperatures and will expand, filling in any gaps in your fireplace brick or concrete while blocking the fire from spreading further than along this caulk line.
Place a cap over your chimney to keep out debris that could block the exit path of smoke, possibly causing it to back up into your home. A spark arrester can also be added to help keep sparks from flying out of the chimney onto your roof or yard.
Stay Close To The Area
Fireplaces can be a great way to enjoy ambiance along with a bit of heat, but they should never be used as your main heating source. When you light a fire, never leave it unattended as a spark can fly out of the firebox and cause a fire in the room quickly. A non-flammable rug can be placed in front of the fireplace to help protect your carpeting from stray embers.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby to put out a fire that gets out of hand. Crack a window when a fire is lit to help keep smoke in the room at a minimum. This air will be drawn into the chimney, so there is not concern about the room getting too cool while the fire is in progress.