This is the time of year when we gather near the hearth of a fireplace glowing with radiant warmth. To make sure your evening of conviviality doesn't turn into a room full of smoke or even worse, follow these safety tips from State Farm Insurance.
First of all, it's best to leave a thorough inspection of the chimney from the vantage point of the roof to the pros, no matter how proficient you are on a ladder. Frost or accumulated moss on the roof can make the surface more slippery than it appears. You can however, take a pair of binoculars and look for cracks in the masonry of the chimney, cracked bricks or a chimney cap that has dislodged.
With your feet planted on solid ground indoors you can tell a lot about the safety of your fireplace with the aid of a flashlight and a flexible set of back muscles.
Begin with the flue damper. Most often, it is opened and closed with the handle located on the face or side of the fireplace surround. With the damper open, check for excessive cobwebs or animal nests.
Check the firebox-- the opening to the fireplace lined with fire brick. Be sure there are no cracks in the brick or masonry which "glues" the brick together.
If you see signs of moisture in the fireplace it could mean your chimney cap needs replacement.
Natural gas burning fireplaces are increasingly popular on Cape Cod because they’re low-maintenance . But "low" doesn't mean "no"-maintenance. Be sure to:
As the Thanksgiving Nor'easter of '13 bears down on one-third of the U.S. population this week, the reward of safely enjoying each other's company by a crackling fire will be extra special this year.