As you prepare to light up your fireplace this season, be sure to adhere to the following safety guidelines to prevent fires and protect your loved ones from pollution.
#1. Inspect the chimney before the first fire.
Chimney and fireplace problems cause approximately 40% of home fires – a sobering statistic. First things first, find a certified fire sweep through the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Per the National Fire Protection Association, you should sweep your chimney before lighting the first winter fire to get rid of soot and debris and check the chimney’s integrity.
#2. Make your fire right, using seasoned hardwoods.
Pine and other green woods can give off a compound known as creosote, which can accumulate in the chimney and later catch fire. Hardwoods like oak that have been split and dried out for six or months tend to burn better and emit less creosote.
#3. Keep your fires small.
Bigger fires can lead to creosote accumulation and potentially even damage the chimney.
#4. Put a cap on the chimney.
Squirrels, birds, tree debris, snow and rain can enter an uncapped chimney and potentially cause hazards as well as needless death of animals. A professional chimney maintenance specialist can add a wire mesh cap to the top of the chimney for you.
#5. Repair chimney problems.
A chimney sweep can also help you identify and fix broken bricks, damaged chimney liners, and deteriorated mortar.
#6. When constructing a fire, do not use flammable liquids to ignite it, but rather use sheets of newspaper and kindling.
Keep the logs at the rear of the fire.
#7. Teach children good chimney and fire safety.
Do not leave young children unsupervised around fires.
If you or someone you love got hurt as a result of a chimney fire, inhalation injury or other problem related to a defective chimney or fireplace, call the effective and aggressive Washington D.C. burn injury attorneys at Regan, Zambri & Long for a free consultation.
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