Fireplace Safety - Preparing for use
It won’t be long before we’re switching the thermostat from AC to heat and getting ready to stoke the fire. But before we break down the kindling and create that cozy setting, there are a few steps to take to ensure safety and efficiency.
While a source of warmth and cheer, improperly maintained fireplaces can be very dangerous for your home and family.
Here in Ohio, a large percentage of homes have fireplaces, and working with buyers interested in these properties, it should never be neglected during initial home inspections. For homeowners that already have one, have all fireplaces and stoves (wood, gas, or pellet burning) professionally inspected and cleaned every year (no less than every other year). The leading cause of residential fires from wood-burning appliances is the result of unburned fuel (creosote).
Cleanings should be sure to include chimneys, gaskets, and blowers. Stoves and fireplaces, unlike furnaces, are not equipped with filters. This is also a good time to replace batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors (if you don’t follow the age-old and reliable rule of changing them annually at daylight savings time).
Also check to make sure the damper or flue opens and closes smoothly and that there are no cracks in the chimney’s bricks and mortar. Be sure to remove all flammable or sensitive materials that may have accumulated near the fireplace over the summer (newspapers, magazine, craft projects, chargers, décor).
If you're looking for a home with a fireplace in SW Ohio, visit my site's property search and simply use the keyword tool "fireplace". I'll be glad to answer any questions about any home you find. You can also use the same keyword property search tool on our company site to find homes with fireplaces all over Ohio and Northern Kentucky.