3 Mistakes Homeowners make related to Fireplace Safety
Many homeowners unknowingly create dangerous situations related to the use of their chimney and fireplace. Don’t light another fire without making sure that you aren’t making any of the following blunders with chimney safety which could lead to deadly situations:
Mistake #1: Not installing carbon monoxide detectors in the home.
A fireplace is one of the many sources of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever fuels such as wood, charcoal, gas, and kerosene are burned. It is an invisible toxic gas that has no smell. In large amounts, carbon monoxide is deadly.
If your chimney becomes blocked, an accumulation of carbon monoxide can enter your home and endanger your family. If back drafting occurs because of negative air pressure caused by an airtight home or by venting systems, CO can be released into your home.
It’s essential to install carbon monoxide alarms on each level of your house, if you use your fireplace. The alarm should meet requirements of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or International Approval Service (IAS).
Mistake #2: Failure to have your fireplace cleaned and inspected annually.
One of the leading causes of heating equipment-related house fires in the U.S. is a failure to properly maintain and clean the fireplace and chimney. The safe use of a fireplace can be hindered by many potential issues, some which are only recognized by an expert eye. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends an annual chimney inspection, to be sure that a professional chimney sweep has been able to verify the safety of the heating system.
Even clean-burning wood, such as seasoned oak, leaves behind creosote in the flue as the combustion gases exit through the chimney. If too much creosote builds up in the chimney lining, it’s possible for the flammable deposits to catch fire when coming into contact with an ember or hot spark. Chimney fires are intense and can cause major damage to the flue and lining. If the lining is damaged, a chimney fire can cause the house to catch fire because combustible parts of the home are exposed. Because of the heat intensity of a chimney fire, house fires that start in the chimney are very quick burning and don’t give members of a household much warning before the house is engulfed.
During a chimney inspection, our professional chimney technicians check the condition of the flue and the amount of creosote in the flue. If there are any potentially hazardous situations, the customer is advised and cleaning and/or repair is recommended. Our number one priority is your safety, and customer service is a close second.
Mistake #3: Hiring an Unqualified Chimney Sweep.
There are so many chimney cleaning and repair scams aimed at homeowners that the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation advises fireplace owners to be on the lookout for con artists. Many unscrupulous people try numerous tactics to trap homeowners into falling for their scams. They will usually offer extremely low prices for chimney sweep services by way of door-to-door sales pitches, phone solicitations, and other advertisements. Once they have their foot in the door, they make a move to pocket a big chunk of your cash.
After looking at your chimney, scammers will falsely claim that your chimney is a fire hazard and must be repaired immediately. They will pocket your money and run, or they will perform work that they are unqualified to do. One of the many problems unqualified chimney sweeps cause is doing work that isn’t up to code. There’s no way to know for sure if your chimney is safe, if you hire unqualified sweeps to do the work.
Our chimney sweep professionals are certified and will give you a reliable assessment of your chimney’s condition along with providing evidence that you can see for yourself. We give our customers the VIP treatment because we hope for the privilege of helping you keep your chimney and fireplace safe for years to come.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110