The fall season is upon us. With the cooler weather around the corner, homeowners will soon turn off their air conditioners and warm their homes with their fireplace. But before you light your fireplace, it’s important to ensure it’s in good working order. We spoke with Bill Bassels of The Chimney Company, about fire safety and fireplace maintenance to prepare for the upcoming winter.
Bill recommends a fireplace be cleaned and inspected annually to ensure your family’s safety. “Let your sweep know if it’s a masonry fireplace, a wood stove or insert. These are things professionals need to know before they come to your home so that they’re prepared,” says Bill, owner of The Chimney Company. For the first fire of the season, he recommends to start small with kindling and look out for anything unusual. “Does it have a strange smell, or cold air coming down [from the chimney]? Do you see any cracks or smoke staining on the bricks?”
A fireplace inspection should be conducted by a professional. Bill advises that you hire a Wood Energy Technology Transfer (W.E.T.T.) Certified Sweep Inspector, a qualified expert with knowledge in wood burning systems who can provide a thorough inspection. “An inspection and sweep must start on top of the roof to properly clean and inspect the chimney and work their way down to inside the fireplace, also inspecting the firebox, smoke chamber and that the damper is in proper working order,” he says.
“Keep your fireplace operating at its optimal capacity by using seasoned, dry hardwood. Homeowners shouldn’t burn wet wood, magazines or cardboard. It’s going to damage the inside of your fireplace and chimney,” says Bill. A fireplace should be retrofitted with a grate, keeping the fire elevated for air circulation. A screen placed in front of the fireplace opening to prevent sparks and ambers from flying out into your room is also a must have. Keeping a fire extinguisher handy, as well as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are also at the top of Bill’s priority list.
Peace of Mind
The Chimney Company offers a Home Value Pack which provides homeowners with a thorough inspection of their fireplace and chimney before the winter season arrives. The Value Pack includes a chimney clean, a verbal W.E.T.T. inspection, roof and eavestrough evaluation, and more. “We’re offering this package as an incentive to have your fireplace properly inspected for a reasonable price. At The Chimney Company, it’s always about peace of mind and keeping your loved ones safe,” says Bill.
The home value pack is available for $199 (over $500 in value) until the end of the fall season. Contact The Chimney Company at 416-722-2224. Visit their profile on our website for more information.