ServiceMaster of Mankato/Waseca provides some fireplace tips to help you avoid fire and smoke damage this winter.
As winter approaches and the weather cools off, you might be using your fireplace or wood stove as a substitute for your traditional furnace. That may be an economical choice, but make sure you have made the proper preparations before striking the first match. Anything with an open flame in the home demands extra attention and precaution or the result may be an unwanted home fire. ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca wants to make sure you don’t have to face dealing with fire and smoke damage in your home this fall.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, the greatest threat from flame-based heating systems is from creosote buildup on interior surfaces of stovepipes, exhaust ducts, and chimneys. The best prevention is to avoid burning the wrong materials, such as woods with excess oil and sap, or kindling materials that leave chemical residues. Have your chimney cleaned regularly by a chimney sweep. Yes, they’re real, and they’re in the telephone listings. Use proper fire screens or doors to ensure sparks from popping wood don’t reach your carpets or other furnishings. Does your chimney have a cap on it? Chimney caps will prevent birds or squirrels from building nests in your flue during the summer that can act as a fire risk in the fall. They will also keep leaves from blowing in and disrupting airflow.
Be cautious with portable fireplaces that you may be using to warm things up on your deck. Make sure they are safely designed, placed away from building walls, and ensure that they’re extinguished before you leave them. Whether using portable or permanent fireplaces, avoid building an oversized fire. Excess heat can crack your chimney and also increase risk of a fire spreading. Use extreme caution when using flammable liquids to start any fire, indoors or out.
If you do experience a home fire, no matter what the cause, call ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca. We are your best choice for fire damage cleanup and fire restoration services. We’ll give you prompt professional help when you need it the most.