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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

Fireplace Safety for Your Family

The new year is right around the corner and it’s that time of year for setting goals for the next coming year. One goal that you should always try to achieve is to have another year of safe fireplace use. This is also the perfect time of year to go over the rules of safe fireplace use with your family.

Who is allowed to operate the fireplace?

Everyone in your family should be able to enjoy your home’s fireplace. However, this doesn’t mean everyone should be allowed to operate your fireplace. Fireplaces are an appliance and should never be treated as a place for children use or play in. Only adults who know how to operate a fireplace should be allowed to start a fire. Explain to children that there are dangers associated with trying to start a fire and they should never try to start a fire on their own.

Know the hot spots

Gas fireplaces are becoming a common fixture in many homes. The firebox for gas fireplaces is enclosed with a glass front. This glass front can get very hot and can cause burn injuries if touched. It is important that everyone in the home knows that they should not touch fireplace glass. If there are toddlers in the home, be sure that there is a toddler gate around the fireplace.

Know what’s okay to burn

There are a variety of different fuels that you can use in your fireplace. It is important that everyone in your household knows that it is only okay to put the correct type of fuel in the fireplace and nothing else. Sometimes children (and adults) think it is fun to throw things like paper or cardboard in the fire to watch it burn. However, putting things that do not belong in a fireplace can be dangerous. For example, paper embers are lightweight and can easily float up your chimney igniting creosote or even floating out of your home and landing on your roof or lawn.

Never leave a fireplace unattended

Once you are done using your fireplace for the day, make sure the fire is extinguished before leaving it. Even glowing embers can shift or snap causing sparks to fly into your home. Make sure that everyone in your family knows this rule and try to have two people check that the fire is completely out before you leave the room.

Remember that another important thing you can do to keep your family safe is to have your chimney inspected annually by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)  certified chimney technician. We here at Old Smokey’s believe that fire safety should be a family affair. If you want more tips on how to keep your family safe this winter or want to schedule an inspection, don’t hesitate to contact Old Smokey’s at 800-876-6539 or visit our scheduling webpage to set up an appointment.

Stay Warm, Make Sure Your Fireplace is Burn-Ready!

Getting ready to burn starts in your mind. No kidding. Getting ready to burn means that you have surrendered to the reality that winter is here or about to be here. It involves no longer resolutely clinging to the notion that warm days will endure, that Indian Summer is more than a passing phenomenon. It means no more fantasizing that summer or even autumn weather will somehow persist, whether it’s from climate change or who-knows-what. All it takes to get you psychologically into winter is one significant, honest-to-goodness snowstorm. Boom! A balmy day in November turns into a snow-shoveling adventure.

Stay warm - Make sure your fireplace is burn-ready - Fore Wayne IN - Old Smokeys Fireplace & ChimneyAnd now you are burn-ready!

But what about the practical, tangible things you need to do get ready to burn? (Incidentally, whether your burning involves seasoned firewood, pellets, natural gas, or propane as fuel, precautions are still in order.)

First, and most obviously, prep your fireplace and chimney system professionally. That’s what any home expert is apt to tell you. Professional guidance — and common sense — dictates that you’ll want to make sure everything is in working order. This is important for the sake of safety, health, and efficiency.

Have one of Old Smokey’s trained and certified technicians check it all out.

Let us dirty our hands so you and your loved ones can cozy up to your fireplace, safely and securely.

Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney has the folks who know fireplaces and chimneys like the back of their smudged hands. We know about fireplace and chimney design and installation, maintenance, and upkeep.

What do we look for as our chimney sweeps make their appointed rounds? Among other things, we want to make sure your fireplace and chimney are free of creosote buildup. We also want to check on the working condition of your damper, and the stability of your flue and chimney lining. Stuff like that.

In addition, we can also check the condition of your masonry, the flashing, the cap and the crown. The idea is to assure you that all the parts are working together properly.

We might even recommend an accessory or two, such as a spark guard or screen.

As part of all this, there are other simple things you yourself can do. Check your supply of firewood. Make sure it is seasoned. With a gas fireplace, make sure the controls are working properly. Also, make sure all exhaust fans or vents are in good working order.

Old Smokey’s will go down the list with you, as much as you need. We’re here to make you comfortable and to assist in your safety.

Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney technicians are CSIA-certified. Through rigorous training, our pros know how to conduct a thorough and comprehensive inspection of your fireplace and chimney heating system.

For decades now, Old Smokey’s has been serving local homeowners in northern Indiana, northern Ohio and mid-Michigan. Call us at 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539 or click here to schedule an appointment. We’ll help you to become burn-ready. We can’t guide you with the psychological part. But we sure can help with just about anything else involving fireplaces and burn-readiness.

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