The cold weather is well and truly here with freezing temperatures and fires all over the region are being turned on for the first time for many.
This means relaxing in front of the fire for many with the glowing embers of the fire and heat radiating throughout the house and chimneys billowing smoke.
Without proper maintenance owners lighting there fires can quickly find themselves in a dangerous situation due to blockages from dirty chimneys or birds taking up residence in stacks during the summer months.
We always recommend that the chimney is swept once per year due to the build-up of creosote and blockages.
Creosote, a combustible by product of charred wood, has a tendency to accumulate along the interior of a chimney’s walls.
Add to that a high internal flue temperature and Burnett says you’ve got a potentially dangerous chimney fire on your hands.
“A lot of people will just throw wood in there and end up with smoke in the house,” he said. “You should have it inspected, especially if buying a new house that has a chimney, and by someone other than a home inspector, like a chimney sweep.”
The best you to avoid the issues above is to hire a professional chimney sweep to carry out a inspection for loose bricks and to remove bird nest debris and soot.
We recommend using only well seasoned hardwoods that have been split for six months to a year. “Green” wood creates more creosote.
Do not burn your Christmas tree (pine creates more creosote) or be tempted to throw wrapping paper, boxes or rubbish into the fireplace.
Most importantly, install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors inside and outside of bedrooms. Like fire, carbon monoxide can be a deadly threat.