Fireplace Safety For Those Freezing Hudson Valley Nights!
When the colder temperatures start to set in around Ulster County, many homeowners will turn to their fireplace, wood or pellet stoves for cozy comfort. Keep in mind the following precautions to help ensure a safe winter season:
Keep Your Chimney, Fireplace and Stoves Clean
- Have your chimney, fireplace, wood or pellet stove inspected and cleaned annually by a licensed chimney specialist for maximum efficiency and safety.
- Be sure to keep the area around them clear of debris, decorations and any other combustible materials.
- If you have a wood burning, insert or pellet stove, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for additional instructions for operation and venting.
- Be sure the flue is open before lighting your fire to help ensure the fireplace will vent properly. Do not close your damper until you are sure the fire is out.
- When starting a fire, only use a match or commercial firelighter. Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Glass doors of a fireplace should be kept open while burning a fire. This allows the fire to receive enough air for complete combustion and to help reduce creosote build-up in the chimney.
- Metal mesh screens should remain closed whenever your fireplace is in use to help keep embers in the fireplace.
- Only use dry wood in your fireplace. Wet wood can increase creosote buildup, which can lead to chimney fires.
- Never burn anything but wood in the fireplace.
- Never leave a fire in a fireplace unattended. Before leaving the house or going to bed, you should make certain to fully extinguish the fire.
- Allow ashes to cool completely before disposing of them — ashes can take several days to cool completely. Never empty ashes directly into a trash can. Instead, place ashes in a covered metal container located at least 10 ft. away from your home and any other building.
Keep the Outside of Your Home and Your Chimney Safe
- Firewood should be stacked at least 30 feet away from your home.
- Your roof and chimney should be kept clean of leaves, pine needles and other debris. Keep a close eye on branches and limbs near the chimney and have them pruned as needed.
- Install a chimney cap with spark arrester to help keep debris, leaves, branches and animals out, and to help prevent embers or sparks from escaping and creating a fire hazard.
Keep the inside of your home safe with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We recommend that you take the time to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly, and after you change the batteries to ensure they work properly. A smoke detector is the most effective way to get you and your family out safely. A carbon monoxide detector can alert you to the buildup of this dangerous odorless and colorless gas.
Should you ever suffer fire damage in your home or business, SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz is ready to help 24/7. Our professionals will work directly with your insurance company and make it “Like it never even happened.”