As a CSIA-certified team of chimney technicians that have been putting the needs of Anne Arundel County citizens first since 1978, you can bet that our crew prides themselves on making safety a priority. As we move into the holiday season, we have some tips for our client base to ensure everyone in the area stays as safe as possible in the weeks and months ahead.
Only Burn Seasoned Wood
First and foremost, make sure that the only thing you are burning in your wood-burning fireplace or wood-burning appliance is wood that has been properly seasoned. That means no garbage, no paper plates, and no leftover wrapping paper can go into the fire. It’s easy for homeowners to use this area as a second, and sometimes more convenient, trash bin throughout get-togethers and holiday parties, but this practice can trigger smoke accumulation and cause creosote to form a lot more rapidly.
You’ll also want to make sure the logs you burn don’t have high moisture levels, as this can also cause creosote to build up at a quicker pace. The wood you burn should be well-seasoned, which means it has had at least six months to dry out, ideally in a shed with a sturdy roof and open sides. The following signs indicate the wood you are using is ready to be used:
- It is dark and split at the ends.
- It is cut to a shorter length.
- When two logs are smacked together, a hollow, clunking noise is made.
- The wood is lightweight.
All in all, the more buildup and creosote that forms in your flue, the higher your chances will be of experiencing a chimney fire, as well as damages from acidic water deposits. Operating a fireplace or gas fireplace or oil for a gas furnace that has cracks, holes, and other types of decay is very dangerous, and investing in repairs of this nature can be costly, time-consuming, and stressful. Not to mention, gaps in the structure leave clear pathways for smoke, carbon monoxide, flames, and gas to escape into your home.
Save yourself the hassle and guarantee a safer holiday season all around by counting on our team from the get-go. We’ll perform a thorough inspection, then provide any necessary maintenance to ensure your system is where it needs to be for the months of cold weather ahead!
Adhere To Proper Clearances
Another thing to keep in mind this time of year is to be mindful of how you decorate. We get the appeal of placing tinsel, stockings, and other festive decor on and around your mantel, but if any of these are flammable, then you are making it all too easy to experience fire damage in the near future.
Along with this, your tree should be at least three feet from your fireplace to ensure no branches or tree decorations accidentally ignite. These distances should be followed with any candles throughout the home, as well! Also, if you have a fire or candle going, never leave them unattended. Accidents can happen to even the most careful homeowner, and it doesn’t take long for flames to spread once something catches fire.
Deep Frying Your Thanksgiving Turkey?
If your Thanksgiving plans include deep frying your turkey, then it’s important to note a few safety guidelines before getting started. First of all, make sure your bird is completely thawed out and dried before immersing it in the oil. It’s common knowledge that water and oil do not mix, and trying to put a frozen turkey in hot oil can easily lead to a fire.
You’ll also want to keep the fryer away from the house and on flat ground to ensure nothing is spilled and no one is at risk. Have young children or pets? Keep them away from the cooking process, and be sure to never leave the turkey unattended. You’ll also want to monitor the temperature if your fryer did not come with its own temperature gauge.
Another important tip is to wear protective gear. This could include safety glasses, aprons, oven mitts, and more. The turkey could easily splatter or pop oil out onto your skin, which might result in some serious injuries. Along with this, stay prepared by having a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case something goes wrong and you need to put out flames in a hurry.
Invest In Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If you don’t have smoke or carbon monoxide detectors in your home, purchase them as soon as you can. These devices have saved countless lives and often offer the first warning signs that something is going wrong in a household. House fires and gas leaks are especially common throughout this colder time of year, and by installing detectors throughout your home you dramatically increase the chances of everyone getting out safely in the event of an emergency. It is important to change the batteries frequently, and a good rule of thumb is to change them during daylight savings in the spring and fall.
Remember that carbon monoxide is both colorless and odorless. Without a carbon monoxide detector, you likely won’t even know the deadly gas is present in your home! Invest in yours today, so that you can rest easier night after night.
Work With Professionals You Can Trust
One thing is for certain: annual chimney inspections are a must, and it is important to work with a CSIA certified crew that really knows what they’re doing. If you want to make sure your fireplace is safe for use and ready to provide you with efficient heat, depend on our crew for it all. We’d be happy to set you up with an appointment – call now!