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One of the joys of winter weather is that it gives everyone an excuse to fire up wood burning fireplaces all over Buffalo. Unfortunately, improperly maintained fires could lead to disastrous house fires. Keep reading for wood burning safety tips to protect your home and family throughout the snow season.
Why proper fireplace care is a must
Wood burning fireplaces are a delightful feature in a home and the prospect of resting in front of a fire on the most frigid days of the year is incredibly appealing. However, always remember that fireplaces present potential hazards like (1) uncontrolled house fires, (2) indoor smoke, and (3) a buildup of carbon monoxide in your home.
Use these three tips to avoid the potential dangers that come with burning wood in your fireplace.
#1- Inspection- Hire a licensed fireplace inspector to thoroughly examine your fireplace and chimney before you think about building a fire in it. Many older stacks contain creosote that can cause dangerous chimney fires. Additionally, it’s not out of the question for a chimney to become structurally unsound over time.
Check out the Chimney Safety Institute of America website for complete chimney safety information.
#2- Regular cleaning- A downside to burning wood is that you’ll need to put some consistent effort into keeping your fireplace free of ash and other residues. The DIY network has an excellent article on how to clean all of the different parts of your wood burning fireplace.
#3- Seasoned wood- Although there is a vast variety of hardwood and softwood logs available to use in your fireplace you must make sure that the wood is seasoned correctly. Seasoning means drying out the wood so that it contains less than 25% moisture. Well-dried wood causes less smoke and creosote buildup when it burns.
Many homeowners choose hardwoods like maple and ash because they’re slow burning and create a comfortable heat. On the other hand, lots of people opt for softwoods, such as fir, since softwood is generally less expensive and easier to light.
Lastly, make sure to prepare your fireplace to burn wood all winter safely. A well-maintained fireplace envelops your family in a safe warmth throughout the worst winter weather.
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