Safety First: Wood and Gas Burning Fireplaces


It may not be cold enough yet, but it’s time to make sure your fireplace is clean and in proper working order. By scheduling or performing a proper cleaning and inspection (and regardless of the type of fireplace you choose) you will support good air circulation and ventilation in your home.

Chimney Sweep

If you didn’t do this at the end of last burning season, make sure to get your chimney cleaned before you start burning. With a wood fireplace, sweeping the chimney and performing an annual inspection is the most important part of fireplace maintenance. If your chimney becomes coated with soot can it can potentially catch fire. This should be done by a certified professional as improperly cleaning the chimney and inhaling soot and dust can lead to health issues.

After every burn, always clean ash from the fireplace when it reaches the bottom of the grate. Wear a dust mask and gloves for safety.

Watch Your Smoke

Does your chimney produce black smoke? This could be a sign that you’re burning poor quality materials that are producing toxic gases and poor air quality in your home. You should only burn clean, seasoned wood, manufactured logs or non-glossy white paper.

Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Remember: Change your batteries and test that both alarms are working properly.

Gas Fireplaces Need Inspections Too

Many new homes are choosing gas fireplaces over traditional wood. They are virtually maintenance free, easy to turn on and off, reduce the risk of fire danger, while still producing heat and ambiance. However, gas fireplaces should also be inspected once a year despite its easy and clean burning nature.

Check the quality of your logs as faux logs can deteriorate and become less effective. Also check the inside and outside for residue and debris that needs to be cleaned out. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions. You should also carefully inspect the glass doors and frame for any chips or scratches that can become hazardous over time.

If you take proactive steps now, it will help keep your fire running clean and efficiently and keeping you warm all through the cold and rainy season.

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