Now that January is here and temperatures are dropping, it’s the time of year in Oconto, WI for hot cocoa, big sweaters, and a lot of time spent under a lot of blankets. While sweaters and cocoa can go a long way, there’s nothing quite like coming in from the cold and snuggling up in front of the fireplace. Homeowners and residents alike need to remember that despite a cozy appearance and comforting crackles, fireplaces produce a lot of heat and a variety of risk factors. Whether your fireplace is fueled by wood or gas, the fire damage restoration agents at ServiceMaster Recovery by Restoration Holdings want you and your family to know how to properly manage a fireplace and practice fireplace safety.
Fire damage is a tragedy in any season, but suffering a home fire in the winter can be especially dangerous since outside conditions aren’t generally optimal for evacuations. If your chimney or fireplace isn’t operating as it should, you could get smoked out (or worse) and find yourself barefoot in two feet of snow. Definitely not the ideal situation!
Since many people only use their fireplaces in the winter, regular maintenance can occasionally fall by the wayside in favor of more pressing year-round home upkeep. Before you use your fireplace for the first time, conduct a thorough fireplace safety check-up of the fireplace itself and all relevant ventilation (including chimneys!)
The basics are these: Smoke should go out, and fire should stay in.
It seems simple enough, but if your chimney is blocked or if your vents are jammed, things can get very dangerous very quickly. And yes, that danger does go for gas fireplaces as well. Even if the logs are fake, the heat and gas is real. Prior to flipping the switch, make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector, and nothing flammable touching the glass casing.
Those of you with wood burning fireplaces have a few more things to consider. Be careful not to overload your fireplace or put anything in that can easily topple out. Also check for chimney blockages early in the season to prevent mid-winter issues.
This tip goes for both classic and modern fireplaces; never leave a fire unattended. If something goes wrong, catching it early may prevent extensive fire damage. If you’re snoozing while the fire is cruising, you may be too late to stop a disaster. Feel free to check out this HPBA Pamphlet for more tips on proper fireplace safety.
If something does go wrong with your fireplace and you find yourself coping with fire damage in your Oconto, WI household, contact the fire damage restoration experts at ServiceMaster Recovery by Restoration Holdings immediately. Also keep in mind that Fire damage restoration isn’t just for rebuilding a charred home. It also means removing scorch marks from your hardwood floor from a log gone-rogue, or removing soot from your living room ceiling following a smoky mishap.
Practice proper fireplace safety first and foremost, but if things go awry, call ServiceMaster Recovery by Restoration Holdings at 920.336.7411to discuss your fire damage restoration needs.