Any homeowner with a fireplace knows that desire for a crackling fire also requires a lifetime commitment to make sure that fireplace is in proper working order. And if you didn’t know, here are the basics of preventative wood burning fireplace maintenance, according to the HPBA. (Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association)
- Have the chimney inspected annually, and cleaned when necessary, by a professional chimney sweep.
- Install a chimney cap on top of the stack to help ensure that debris or animals don’t block the flue.
- Install working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and have a fire extinguisher.
Additional precautions should be taken when you use the fireplace:
- Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of potentially flammable objects and materials.
- Clean out the ashes from your previous fire, and store them in a non-combustible container until you can properly dispose of them.
- Make sure you use a fireplace grate, keep the glass doors open while the fire is burning, but keep the fire screen closed.
- Build a safe and right-sized fire and use fireplace tools to tend to it.
- Don’t leave a fire unattended and don’t close the damper until the embers are completely burned out.
Gas fireplaces have a whole different set of recommendations, which you can find here.
No matter the type of hearth your home has, it’s important to properly maintain it, because a malfunctioning fireplace can be damaging to your home. Your safety is important to us.