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Lighting Up the Burning Season

Lighting Up the Burning Season - Gloucester VA - Olde TownHoliday season is approaching, kicking off that time of year where you will want to light your fireplace more often. Reminiscing with friends and family by a warm fire is an idyllic image, but be sure to take the proper precautions before building fires on a more frequent basis. If you have not been using your chimney throughout the warmer months and are getting ready to start that first fire, consider what extra steps should be taken to ensure a safe environment for you and your family.

Here are some tips to follow when kicking off your burning season.

  • Clean your chimney. It is widely suggested that you get your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year. The beginning of burning season would be a great time to schedule this annual necessity. There will likely be a build-up of creosote and other residue from the past cold season that needs to be addressed. This debris often gets flaky throughout the warm months and becomes very prone to combust, increasing the risk of unwanted or uncontrollable fires within the home. Another reason cleaning is important is the likely accumulation of animal nests that have built up over the spring and summer seasons. These need to be cleared out before any fires are started, as they could block up your chimney and cause unwanted hazards when lighting a fire.
  • Check out your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure your detectors are up-to-code and working properly. Making sure they can adequately warn you and your family members of any dangers in the air is critical before starting fires more frequently within the home.
  • Remove any flammable materials/household items from the fireplace area. When you have not used your fireplace for months, it is easy to use it as a decoration holder or even as a storage area for your everyday items. If you are starting up fires on a regular basis it is time to remove these things and break any habits of using your fireplace as coat or shoe rack.
  • Use seasoned wood. Using unseasoned or damp wood is not healthy for your home or fireplace. Also, the wood will burn more efficiently if it is in proper condition. Signs of seasoned wood are: the sound it makes (it should sound hollow), a darker color, and cracks throughout the wood.
  • Keep your fire extinguisher close by. Know where your extinguisher is at all times and have it readily available when you light your first fire, just in case something goes wrong.

Consider these tips when starting up your first fire and keep them in mind throughout the season, as well. These are all great things to consider whenever any fire is lit to increase safety in your home. As the season progresses, be sure to consistently clear out the ashes in your fireplace and keep all of your fires well-managed with proper kindling and safety practices.

Olde Town Chimney Sweeps in Gloucester serves the Middle Peninsula area with professionally certified chimney technicians. Contact us today to learn more about your chimney, fireplace, and fire safety.

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