Actually, fireplace maintenance is a yearlong responsibility. You certainly don’t have to pay attention to your fireplace every time you turn around. But, it helps if you pay more attention to it throughout the year.
In fact, most people wait until the winter to have their chimneys cleaned. While it’s a good idea to clean your chimneys in the fall or the beginning of winter, you can normally save yourself a bundle of money when you have your chimneys cleaned in the summer. Most Chimney Sweeps lower their rates in the summer when business gets slow. Plus it’s better weather for them to work, which is another reason why they show their appreciation.
When you hear of a sixty-one year old man who dies in a fire that swept his East Hampton home, it makes you think of all the fire dangers that are in your own home. Candles seem to be what started that one. But, unclean chimneys have been known to start others.
Of course with a ventless system, this isn’t an issue. A ventless fireplace doesn’t have a chimney because it doesn’t have burn-off waste that you need to direct out of your home. Therefore, there is no build-up that can cause smoke damage or catch on fire and burn the house to the ground.
But at this time of year, there are some things you do need to be aware of even if your chimney has already been cleaned. Do not place a real tree beside the fireplace. When it starts dying, it becomes the easiest thing in the world to light and watch go up in flames.
At my country home as a kid, my father would take the tree out on the front yard and burn it. We made a tradition out of watching the tree burn. I remember how quick it would happen. The tree was up in flames in mere seconds compared to a log that you throw on the fire and it takes a few minutes to catch. So, it’s not a good idea to have a catalyst like a drying tree beside your fireplace when a spark decides to make a leap for freedom.
The best thing you can do for you and your family is to place a fire extinguisher beside the fireplace. Rather than have a simple spark jump out and start a fire while you’re running to the kitchen for a glass of water or looking for something to beat the spark down with, you can have a fire extinguisher handy. The fire won’t be able to catch hold and burn the house down when the fire extinguisher is right there.
There are always safety concerns in the winter when people start using their fireplaces again. Keeping a few of them in mind might keep you and your family safe. Plus, you won’t end up homeless like so many people have done years before. It’s a terrible thing to go into the holiday season and not have a home to celebrate.