You may be spending this fall season looking at winter temperatures on the thermometer, or you may have mild days and time to prepare. If you’re just now thinking about winter prep, you still have time, but you should start now.
Before you light your fireplace this winter, it’s important to have it serviced regularly. Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend routine chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections for the safest and most efficient chimney systems. These services allow a professional to detect damage early and restore the system before winter. At Anderson’s Chimney and Masonry Services, we clean chimneys and inspect systems. We service fire appliances, and make necessary repairs as well. It’s our goal that all the chimneys and fireplaces in our community are safe for our friends and neighbors. We also make sure that systems are “up to code” and within necessary standards to keep you and your home safe this winter.
You should have a decent supply of firewood by now because it has to dry for 3-6 months before ever being burned. When fresh wood is cut down it is filled with water that was keeping it alive. This water has to dry before the wood will burn well. The best way to allow the wood to dry is to cut it to length and store it in a loose pile or open shed or lean-to with access to sunlight and air.
If you do not have a supply of firewood yet, you still have time to find some wood! You can buy seasoned firewood from a local supplier. Just make sure you check out the wood before you make your purchase, and you get what you pay for.
Signs your wood is seasoned:
-The flesh is gray in color
-Pieces are light
-Wood makes a dull sound when hit with another piece
-The bark is pulling away from the wood
-The wood is cracked along the edges
Making sure your chimney system is ready for fire, and your fuel is ready to burn is only half the work. You also have to prepare for winter by preparing the home and family. You may be prepared in seemingly every way, but if you don’t have a properly installed smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector, you aren’t ready. These are life-saving devices that you absolutely need to have before lighting a fire in your home. Install the devices now and check them regularly. In addition, talk with your family about household rules for fireplace use, plan a fire escape plan, and practice it as often as you check the batteries in your smoke alarm. For more fireplace safety tips, click here.
If you’re not sure your fireplace is ready for winter, you can schedule with an Anderson’s expert today. Just call 717-975-3526 or request services online.