Protect Your Home and Guests from Hidden Fireplace Dangers in Portland, OR
A fireplace is one of a home’s greatest features and can bring an ambiance and warmth to a space to create that perfect night in on a cold evening. As important as they are for creating the perfect mood, it is equally important to ensure that you properly maintain your fireplace.
Fireplace Safety and Maintenance
Wood Burning Fireplaces
- Ensure your flue is open and clear from obstructions. It is important to take a peek up your chimney (before lighting your fire of course) to be certain the chimney is not blocked. Often time birds or other animals will make shelter in your chimney in the off-season, so be sure to check if you haven’t used your fireplace in some time.
- Keep glass doors open. If you have a normal, wood burning fireplace, keep the screens closed, but the glass doors open. The doors are usually designed to keep a room insulated when not in use, not to keep the fire in. A chimney requires air to be pulled through and up the chimney, so keeping the doors open allows this air to flow properly while your screen keeps debris and sparks from flying out onto your carpet or other flooring.
- Install a chimney cap. Chimney caps keep rain from damaging your chimney and keeps birds and other critters out. You should also put a screen across the chimney to prevent sparks from flying out and onto roofs or lawns potentially causing a fire.
- If you have burned 70-100 fires call a chimney sweep to come and inspect your chimney. They’ll clean out any build-up and do a visual inspection to ensure your chimney is healthy and structurally sound.
Gas Burning Fireplaces
- Install an oxygen-depletion sensor, commonly known as a “safety pilot.” These safety pilots will turn off the gas if they detect the fireplace isn’t functioning properly or if too much carbon monoxide builds up.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors near the fireplace and every floor of your home. A couple per floor would be ideal.
- Maintain proper distance from the fireplace. Keeping objects away from the fireplace is the best way to avoid a fire or smoke damage. Keep curtains and other fabrics at least 3 feet away from the outside edge of the fireplace.
- Contact your gas company or call 911 immediately if you smell gas in your home.
- Clamp your fireplace damper open to prevent carbon monoxide from entering your home.
With all fireplaces it is important to keep your children and pets away. Burning fireplaces in a home can deplete the home of oxygen and replace it with carbon monoxide. Keep your carbon monoxide alarms in working order to ensure your family stays safe.
Keeping your fireplaces in your home in good working order is just one of the important steps to keeping your home and house guests safe. It is also a great way to avoid a costly and emotional homeowner’s insurance claim.
If you have questions about your home, auto or commercial insurance, call the insurance agents at Milt Marcy Insurance in Portland, OR. They have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or business Insurance. They live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so they can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out their website, 24/7.