Winter is almost here and few things are as comforting as the smell of wood burning in the fireplace of you Santa Cruz home. Before you light the first fire of the year, there are a few things you need to do. Here is the short list for fireplace safety:
Clean Out the Chimney
Everyone wants to get out of the cold weather, including birds and squirrels. Have a chimney cap installed at the top of the chimney to keep out small animals looking for shelter. The cap will also keep debris from clogging the chimney.
Have a professional clean out any creosote residue. Creosote is the build-up of carbon from burning wood. It is flammable and needs to be removed every year.
Creosote is hazardous to your health. It can cause respiratory problems, so don’t try to clean it out on your own. Some home improvement stores sell a creosote removal log that you burn in your fireplace, it may clean your fireplace incompletely, so it’s best to go with a professional chimney cleaning company.
Prepare the Surrounding Area
Before you light the fireplace in your Santa Cruz home, make sure that the area around it is clear of clutter. You’ll want to make sure there is at least two to three feet of cleared space around the fireplace.
Invest in a fireplace screen so that nothing is accidentally knocked into the fireplace. It will also help to prevent burning embers from flying out.
Each time you get ready to use the fireplace, clean out the ashes from the previous fire.
Light the Fire
First, open the fireplace damper so the proper airflow can occur. Then, start with paper or kindling placed on top of the fireplace grate. Use seasoned firewood cut to the right length for your fireplace. A couple of logs will be enough; you don’t want to add too many or the fire will suffocate.
Following these fireplace safety instructions can help you enjoy this winter season without worry. So, feel free to light that fireplace and soon the aroma of burning wood will fill your Santa Cruz home.