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Fireplaces - Hidden Dangers...

This post was featured and has been reblogged a few times already, but I wanted to share it with you. If you have a fireplace and use them during the winter, this is a good post to read about the safety (or lack there of) of your fireplace.

Fireplaces - Hidden Dangers...

With old man winter just beginning to clear his throat with the first cool snaps of the winter season, many Americans begin firing up their fireplaces. But before you start enjoying the ambiance of the warm embers glow with the blanket, a bottle of bubbly and your sweetie, is your fireplace really safe from the hidden dangers that most folks do not even know about?

Statistically, over 1/3rd of Americans use solid fuel (wood) as their primary source of heat. Most of these are in rural areas. Statistics also show that 36% of residential home fires start in the fireplace or wood burning stove.

When was the last time you:

  • Had your chimney or flue evaluated by a licensed chimney sweep? Most residential fires are caused by creosote build-up and flue fires.
  • Checked the air inlets? Some modern fireplaces draw air from the exterior. Insects find these protected areas a cool spot to build their nests. Blocked inlets can cause poor combustion and CO to build up.
  • When was the last time you checked to see if tree branches were hanging over the flue?
  • When was the last time you checked the batteries in your smoke detector? Statistics show that most deaths could have been prevented. Missing/dead batteries was the number one cause.


Be safe.

  • Do not use incendiaries to start a fire. Flammable liquids are unsafe.
  • Use only seasoned hardwoods. Soft, green wood causes creosote to build up in flues and liners.
  • Keep firewood away from your home. We do not want to bring in WDO's do we?
  • Build smaller fires. These burn better and produce less smoke.


By practicing a few "rules of the road" you and your sweetie can cuddle and enjoy the bubbly☺☺☺
  

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Comment balloon 6 commentsJohn Cannata • October 17 2009 08:53PM

Comments

Thanks for the post. They can really be a mess if not taken care of.

Posted by Greg Anderson, NMLS # 116211 (Hearthstone Mortgage) over 10 years ago

A great reminder, John. To date, I have never used the fireplace because I didnt think it's an efficient heat source. I also didn't want my house to burn down because of my slopiness.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 10 years ago

I agree Greg. Although I am very bad with having it cleaned out yearly.

Loreena - You are so missing out. A fireplace is definitely a great hear source. It saves us on our heating bill each year and we only use it when we are in the living room. I'd also recommend not going to bed until its out. Typically, they last about 3 hours or so. You can always start it early if you want to make sure its out before bed.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com) over 10 years ago

Hi John ~ Great advice. One more "danger" I happened to hear about today. A friend of my colleague ended up with a squirrel in his house - via the chimney. Thank goodness mine have those wire mesh tops on them.

Liz

Posted by Elizabeth Bolton, Cambridge MA Realtor (RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA) over 10 years ago

This is a very important reminder you have posted.  I haven't built a fire in my fireplace for a couple of years now.  I have a little pile of wood I have accumulated from tree trimmings.  I need to have the chimney guy visit before I use it.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 10 years ago

Liz - Poor little squirrel.

Myrl - I'm with you. Have the wood ready, but have not called the Chimney guy yet. This was a nice reminder before I start my winter logs.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com) over 10 years ago

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