FIREPLACE SAFETY TIPS

By
Home Inspector with Chimney Check Professionals

INSPECT AND CLEAN YOUR CHIMNEY REGULARLY
Have a chimney inspector do a safety inspection on the chimneys at least once a year. Your chimney could have a problem you cannot see.

CHECK FOR CREOSOTE AND SOOT BUILD-UP.
Creosote can form quickly and is a major cause of chimney fires. Check chimney and flue pipes often and clean when necessary. Never let creosote or soot build up.  A chimney inspector will be able to spot creosote during the inspection of your chimney.

CHECK WALLS FOR EXCESSIVE HEAT.
If the wall is very hot, it could be a sign of improper installation of the chimney. Consult a chimney inspector right away.

INSTALL A RAIN CAP.
A rain cap should be installed on top of all metal and masonry chimneys. If you have a spark screen around the chimney cap, you should have it inspected regularly for blockage.

LOOK FOR SMOKE ENTERING THE ROOM.
When the fireplace is in use smoke should not enter the room. This could indicate a blockage in the chimney or a faulty damper control mechanism. Have it checked by a chimney inspector immediately.

PROTECT FLOORS AND WALLS FROM HEAT AND SPARKS.
Ensure that each fireplace has a non-combustible hearth that is a minimum of 20 inches wide. Keep combustibles safely away from your fireplace. Always use a properly fitted screen for your fireplace.

REGULARLY CHECK FOR SIGNS OF PROBLEMS.
Your flue pipes and chimney can deteriorate over time. Look for corrosion or rust stains on the outer shell of a metal chimney and check for bulges or corrosion in its liner.  Loose bricks, crumbling mortar, broken liners, dark stains or white powder indicate problems with masonry chimneys.  A chimney inspection will determine if any of these problems exist.  These should be fixed immediately by a qualified mason.

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Tags:
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fireplace
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bricks
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Rainer
88,607
Jean Powers
Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002 - Alameda, CA
CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
John, thank you for your post, I need to check out my chimney
Apr 29, 2008 10:48 AM #1
Rainer
91,793
Patrick Lambert
ALLY Real Estate - Waikoloa, HI
Hawaii Real Estate Expert
Very good advise. Too many deaths every year from NOT doing that.
Apr 29, 2008 10:53 AM #2
Rainer
104,456
Ted Mackel
Keller Williams Realty Simi Valley - Simi Valley, CA
Simi Valley Real Estate Agent
Welcome to Active Rain.  Make sure to check out other blogs so you can see what works and what does not.
Apr 29, 2008 11:03 AM #3
Rainmaker
30,984
John LaRocca
LaRocca Inspections - Burbank, CA
Keep up the blogging John! Make sure that you post to the groups you've joined so that you can get your blog out there more.
Apr 29, 2008 11:05 AM #4
Rainer
4,940
Chris Griffin
Sewerline Check Professionals - Los Angeles, CA
Welcome JLB! Good to have you. Keep up the good work!
Apr 29, 2008 11:08 AM #5
Rainmaker
232,521
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty
Very informative post, I have never seen one about fireplace safety tips.  Smoke coming inside the house is definitely not a good sign!  That happened at our cabin and it took a while to get the smoke out!
Apr 29, 2008 11:13 AM #6
Rainmaker
783,884
The Trumm Team Omaha Homes for Sale, Real Estate
Keller Williams Greater Omaha - Omaha, NE

Welcome to ActiveRain!

If you would like a few tips on getting the most out of ActiveRain, please visit my blog Welcome to Active Rain.  It has a few simple steps of what to do now that you have joined.

If you ever have any questions, just let me know.

Troy Trumm
Apr 29, 2008 01:05 PM #7
Rainmaker
504,285
Bill Kennedy
Keller Williams Realty - Greenville, SC
Homes For Sale Greenville SC

Hey John!

Welcome to Active Rain!  This is a great forum to learn and present in.  If you're like me, you'll quickly become addicted to all the wonderful blogs that are out there.  Pick out some of your favorite groups, and start reading!  There's everything from humor to technology and more!

Enjoy, and again, Welcome!

Apr 29, 2008 03:10 PM #8
Rainmaker
252,890
Erin Newington
(916) 585-3858 - Elk Grove, CA
Elk Grove Realtor
Welcome to Active Rain!  It is great to have you!
Apr 29, 2008 04:15 PM #9
Rainmaker
246,144
Benjamin Clark
Homebuyer Representation, Inc. - Salt Lake City, UT
Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert

Welcome to Active Rain! For some tips on how to get started here, check out my blog entry at ActiveRain Fast-Start Tips for Quick and Easy Points

Happy blogging and good luck!

Apr 29, 2008 07:44 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,247,766
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin

John:

very good post and great information. Welcome to AR. Hope you have a great week.

May 01, 2008 03:07 PM #12
Anonymous
Steve Nichols

John - You are the BOMB!

Jun 20, 2008 01:56 PM #13
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John LeBaron

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