Chim­ney main­te­nance en­sures you’ll stay warm and safe this win­ter

The Drumheller Mail - - CLASSIFIEDS -

A fire­place adds so much warmth and am­bi­ence to a home. As the cold win­ter months ap­proach, you’re look­ing for­ward to stok­ing the fire and lis­ten­ing to the sound of crack­ling wood in the glow of the flames.

Keep in mind that your hearth and chim­ney can also be­come a se­ri­ous fire threat to your home if not prop­erly used and main­tained.

When was the last time you had your chim­ney swept or in­spected by a pro­fes­sional?

A chim­ney is a house­hold ex­haust pipe. It fun­nels away soot, smoke, gases, hot ashes and sparks. It also serves as your fur­nace’s ex­haust sys- fire and smoke from hav­ing a clear exit from your home. This is a se­ri­ous is­sue that can lead to a dev­as­tat­ing fire and needs to be cor­rected as soon as pos­si­ble. If you sus­pect this to be the case, do not use your fur­nace or fire­place un­til you can have it ex­am­ined.

If you have a gas fire­place, the in­spec­tor will check and clean the burn­ers as well as heat ex­chang­ers and all con­nec­tions. Safe use of your fire­place Once you have con­fir­ma­tion that all sys­tems are go, keep th­ese tips in mind for safe op­er­a­tion: fire­place clear. Don’t leave pa­per and de­bris, or hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tions close to the flames. your fire­place glass doors to from fly­ing out. doesn’t have keep sparks your fire­place. Fresh wood creates a build-up of cre­osote. Also, don’t use your fire­place to burn things like your Christ­mas tree, wrap­ping pa­per, boxes or trash. sure your fire­place cap is in place, and hasn’t blown away in a wind­storm. With­out it, you could get rain, snow, birds and other crit­ters in­side. Also, the cap helps to pre­vent back­drafts, which can keep your fire from burn­ing prop­erly or cause your home to fill with smoke. wood at once. If your fire is too big, it will be­come un­man­age­able. A larger burn­ing fire also in­creases cre­osote build-up. at the back of your fire­place. and car­bon monox­ide tors. de­tec- monox­ide poi­son­ing can come from poorly func­tion­ing fur­naces and heat­ing sys­tems, but it can also come from poorly main­tained chim­neys. The chim­ney serves as your fur­nace ex­haust sys­tem. If de­bris is block­ing it, car­bon monox­ide can build up in your home.

Car­bon monox­ide has no odour and there­fore it is not eas­ily de­tected. It’s im­por­tant to en­sure you have smoke and car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tors in­side and out­side of all bed­rooms. Re­place the bat­ter­ies an­nu­ally and test them reg­u­larly.

Reg­u­lar main­te­nance of your chim­ney and fire­place and proper use will keep your hearth and your home happy and safe.

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