With the leaves falling off the trees, and swirling on the ground, the sounds and sights of Autumn are in full force. We have had a beautiful season so far, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that will likely come to an end sooner than we would all like. With the colours of fall surrounding us, many are looking to head into the colder months by ensuring our homes are cozy and warm. This means that if you have a fireplace, there are a few things you should do to prepare.
Get an inspection
Your chimney should be checked, and cleaned, by a professional once a year. Having a thorough inspection completed at the beginning of the season will help keep your home and loved ones safe. The last thing you want is to deal with an unforeseen incident that could have been avoided.
Check for cracks
Now is the perfect time to carefully check the exterior around your fireplace. Also keep an eye out for loose bricks that may need repairing in, and around, your fireplace. If you discover some that need fixing, it is best to consider hiring a professional mason rather than attempting to do it yourself.
Examine the damper and chimney cap
Make sure the damper can be easily open and closed, and that there isn’t anything, like debris, causing it to restrict airflow. You also want to make sure that your chimney cap is secured and operating properly.
Keep it clean
When using your wood burning fireplace, make sure you keep it clean. If you use your fireplace on a regular basis, clean out the ash at least once a week. You can sweep or vacuum the unwanted ash; but make sure the coals are fully cooled before doing this step!
For those of you who stay cozy by the light and warmth of a gas, or electric, fireplace, while maintenance is less there are still a few things to keep in mind as well. For gas fireplaces, ensure the pilot light is working, and that all vents are clean and in working order. If you own an electric fireplace, ensure the wires aren’t frayed or broken, and that all connectors are secure. If you find something isn’t working, or is damaged, be sure to have it fixed or replaced.
Fireplaces are a fantastic way to add warmth, and ambiance, to your home. However, they are also a fire hazard if not properly cared for. Therefore, before you put your feet up and enjoy, please remember to consider these tips to keep your family and home safe this season!