December 2017 Blog

Now that winter is just around the corner, it’s time to start taking stock of the safety of your home. Many people consider fireplaces to be a wonderful addition to a home. They add ambience, coziness and serenity to your home. There is nothing like curling up in front of a crackling fire after a long day in the office or a day spent outside enjoying winter sports.

If you’ve never had your chimney cleaned, there’s no time like the present to get it done. We all know about creosote and how it can build up on the lining of your chimney, increasing the chances of a fire – and I’m not talking about the kind you start with logs.

While creosote is a relatively well-known hazard, did you know that you should have your chimney and regularly inspected for venting, obstructions and possible cracking or damage to the lining of your chimney? And what about pesky critters that may become stuck in your chimney in their efforts to find respite from the cold? Stainless steel screens and caps can be installed, preventing unwanted animals, as well as rain and moisture leaking into your chimney. Regular inspection of your fireplace and chimney – both inside and out – will identify and prevent problems down the road.

Gas fireplaces and stoves should also be regularly inspected to check for clogging from dust, lint and human or animal hair/fur, leaking valves and connectors or improper venting. In fact, any appliance in your home that burns fuel should be checked regularly to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Be sure to keep any outside exhaust pipes or vents free of snow or other obstruction that could cause a backup of CO2 into your home.

Another potential winter hazard is a clogged clothes dryer vent. This is an easy thing to overlook, but something that – if left unchecked – can result in lower efficiency drying of clothes, higher utility costs, CO poisoning and even fires in your dryer.