Looking for ways to keep your home and family as protected as possible this upcoming holiday season? This time of year is known for being joyful and festive, but all of those candles, bright lights, and fireplace fires, unfortunately, increase the chances of gas leaks and house fires significantly. Because of this, we urge all of our customers to keep some of the following guidelines in mind throughout the weeks ahead.
Decorating The Tree
Whether you own an artificial tree or opt to get a real one every season, the risk of experiencing a fire always increases with a tree in the home. If your tree isn’t a real one, be sure that is fire-resistant (it should say so right on the label), and keep it away from your fireplace and other heat sources, as well.
If you’re going the live tree route, you’ll also want to keep it away from flames and heat, and you’ll need to regularly water it, too, since dryer trees are much more likely to catch on fire. It’s also advised to turn off any lights whenever you leave your home and when you are sleeping.
Using Your Fireplace
Now, when putting your fireplace to use, a few important steps could make all the difference in keeping your home and family as safe as possible in the weeks ahead. First of all, be sure to invest in an annual inspection before lighting any fires. It doesn’t matter if you own a wood-burning fireplace, a gas unit, or a pellet-fueled one – an inspection is always a must! This will give your sweep the opportunity to spot any damages or buildup that could lead to fires or gas exposure.
Should issues or excess creosote be detected, do not put your fireplace to use until all repairs and sweeping work is completed. Cracks, gaps, clogs, and deterioration all increase your chances of poisonous gases or flames entering your living space. Paying for repair work now is always more cost-effective than investing in thousands of dollars worth of home repairs down the line!
It’s also important to only burn seasoned wood when using wood-burning appliances. Well-seasoned wood will be shorter in length, split and darker at the ends, lightweight, and it will make a hollow, clunking noise when smacked together (as opposed to a dull thud). If you throw logs on the fire that are unseasoned, or if you toss wrapping paper, plastic cups, paper plates, and other types of garbage into the fire, you’ll notice a lot more creosote accumulation in your flue, and your living room will likely fill with smoke.
Another thing we urge homeowners to be aware of is the importance of never leaving a fire unattended. It can be tempting to take a nap by the hearth or go to bed and let the flames die out naturally, but this type of behavior has led to many house fires over the years, and it could turn your holiday season into a tragedy.
Looking to decorate your mantel? Hanging stockings by the fireplace may seem like the traditional route to take, but these (along with any other type of flammable decor) should be kept far away from flames. All it takes is one or two stray sparks or embers to cause a fire in your home.
Purchase Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Do you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home? Each level of your house should be equipped with multiples of these devices to ensure everyone is alerted at the first sign of danger. For instance, if your home fills with smoke while the people within it are asleep, there is little chance of them waking up to detect it.
Keep in mind that carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, so noting its presence is next to impossible. Because of this, it leads to hundreds of deaths every single year. We urge all of our customers to invest in carbon monoxide detectors to keep their loved ones better protected all year long.
Along with all that, be sure you are regularly checking and changing the batteries in these devices, and don’t forget to replace them when the time comes. A few easy steps now and then could make all the difference in giving your family the peace of mind they deserve!
Purchase A Fire Extinguisher
Because fires are more likely this time of year, it’s smart to have one or two fire extinguishers in your home in places where they can easily be accessed in the event of an emergency. Between holiday cooking, evenings spent baking cookies, candles being lit more regularly, and all that extra holiday lighting you have around the house, this is the perfect time to play it safe. If your home is without a fire extinguisher, go out and purchase one today!
Rely On Us For All Of Your Chimney & Fireplace Needs
A well-functioning fireplace can make all the difference between a joyous and festive holiday season and a disaster-filled one. If you want to ensure your system works with the efficiency you deserve this Christmas, get our team on the job today. Our Certified Chimney Professionals will look things over, then provide you with an accurate, honest, and in-depth analysis of what services you need to invest in moving forward. In no time, you’ll be all set and ready to use your system night after night.
Ready to get started? So are we! Give us a call today to set something up.