Company Blog

Fireplace Safety Tips

Fire is one of the most dangerous elements there is! So, whenever you light one in your fireplace, it is important to remember a few safety precautions. This is especially true when you have children in your home. At All Seasons Chimney, safety is our top priority. That’s why we would like to remind you of some of the most essential fire safety recommendations you should be following. Practicing these tips will help keep you and your family safe from any accidental fires or other hazards this winter.

Fireplace Safety Tips Image - Poughkeepsie NY - All Seasons ChimneyOpen the damper before starting a fire.

If the damper is closed, smoke will not be able to exit out of the chimney as it is supposed to do. A closed damper could also cause toxic gases like carbon monoxide to blow back into your home. You will want to keep the damper open until the embers have completely stopped burning.

Only burn seasoned firewood.

Seasoned firewood has been allowed to dry for at least six months after it has been cut. It will produce less smoke and will give you longer lasting fires with more heat.

Keep your children safe.

Healthy Children suggests setting up a fireplace screen to keep your children from burning themselves on the glass fireplace doors. Never leave your children unattended in a room with a fireplace in use, even if you have a screen.

Prevent accidental fires.

Keep the area in front of your fireplace clear from combustible items. These include furniture, carpet, and curtains. Hot sparks and embers can easily jump out and start an accidental fire. The proximity to high temperatures can also be dangerous as well.

Be prepared.

Install smoke and carbon monoxide detector alarms throughout your home. You should place these alarms in the same room as your fireplace, on every level of your home, and outside each bedroom. Be sure to check the batteries in these alarms in the spring and the fall when you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time. You should also have a fire extinguisher on hand, in case an accidental fire does break out.

Schedule an appointment for an annual chimney sweep and inspection.

To keep your fireplace and chimney working safely and efficiently, it is very important to have your chimney professionally swept and inspected every year. You need to have the creosote removed to avoid the chimney fire hazard. Plus, you need to make sure there is no damage that could be causing your chimney to be unsafe to operate.

Following these safety tips will help you be able to enjoy your fireplace with no worries this winter! Contact us at All Seasons Chimney for all of your chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs in the lower Hudson Valley area.

Carbon Monoxide and Its Dangers

When you are enjoying the fire from your fireplace, stove, or insert, you most likely give little thought to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. However, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) states that every year over 200 people in the United States die from carbon monoxide poisoning due to the toxic gas entering their homes due to venting problems or leaks in their heating or chimney system. Furthermore, 10,000 cases of illnesses due to carbon monoxide poisoning are reported every year. Luckily, proper maintenance of your chimney, including an annual chimney sweep and inspection from a company like All Seasons Chimney with CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, can prevent any possible carbon monoxide poisoning incidents from happening to you and your family in your home.

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What exactly does carbon monoxide do to your body?

Too much carbon monoxide in your bloodstream will kill you, and low levels of exposure to carbon monoxide over a period of time can cause many health problems. The danger lies in the fact that when carbon monoxide is present in the air, the protein hemoglobin in your blood would rather latch on to it and ignore life-giving oxygen. When this happens, your body will replace oxygen with carbon monoxide, and this causes greater or lesser levels of your cells suffocating, depending on the duration and intensity of the exposure to carbon monoxide. Low-level exposure to carbon dioxide includes some very serious side effects like permanent organ and brain damage. People with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly, infants, and people with breathing issues, are in more danger to carbon monoxide exposure. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the common cold and flu, so it can be a long and frustrating process to diagnose the true problem. If you continue to suffer from headaches, fatigue, or even depression, ask your doctor to check your blood levels of carbon monoxide.

How does carbon monoxide form in my chimney?

As a by-product of combustion, carbon monoxide can be found in both gas and wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, and furnaces. When the combustion process is incomplete, more carbon dioxide is formed. Restricted air flow caused by closed fireplace doors, an unopened damper, or a flue blockage results in incomplete combustion as not enough oxygen is able to get in to completely burn the fuel.

How does carbon monoxide leak into my house from my chimney?

Several factors can result in this toxic gas leaking into your home. A damaged or deteriorated flue liner allows carbon monoxide to seep through its cracks into your living space. All Seasons Chimney can easily take care of this problem by restoring a damaged flue liner or even by replacing your old liner with a new stainless steel liner. Other causes of carbon monoxide entering your home include debris clogs, soot and creosote build-up, and animal or birds nests obstructing the chimney flue.

How can I prevent carbon monoxide from entering my house?

The best prevention against carbon monoxide leaks is an annual chimney sweeping and inspection from a CSIA-certified chimney sweep. All Seasons Chimney will ensure your venting system and flue liner are in good shape, and if not, we provide chimney repair services to fine-tune your chimney so that it works efficiently and safely. We also recommend you install carbon monoxide detector alarms throughout your home in case you do experience a carbon monoxide leak. These alarms can save your life!

If you have any more questions about the dangers of carbon monoxide, contact All Seasons Chimney. Our staff will be happy to answer them as well as schedule a chimney sweeping and inspection to ensure your home is free from this dangerous toxic gas.