John LeBaron's Blog

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FIREPLACE SAFETY TIPS

INSPECT AND CLEAN YOUR CHIMNEY REGULARLY
Have a chimney inspector do a safety inspection on the chimneys at least once a year. Your chimney could have a problem you cannot see.

CHECK FOR CREOSOTE AND SOOT BUILD-UP.
Creosote can form quickly and is a major cause of chimney fires. Check chimney and flue pipes often and clean when necessary. Never let creosote or soot build up.  A chimney inspector will be able to spot creosote during the inspection of your chimney.

CHECK WALLS FOR EXCESSIVE HEAT.
If the wall is very hot, it could be a sign of improper installation of the chimney. Consult a chimney inspector right away.

INSTALL A RAIN CAP.
A rain cap should be installed on top of all metal and masonry chimneys. If you have a spark screen around the chimney cap, you should have it inspected regularly for blockage.

LOOK FOR SMOKE ENTERING THE ROOM.
When the fireplace is in use smoke should not enter the room. This could indicate a blockage in the chimney or a faulty damper control mechanism. Have it checked by a chimney inspector immediately.

PROTECT FLOORS AND WALLS FROM HEAT AND SPARKS.
Ensure that each fireplace has a non-combustible hearth that is a minimum of 20 inches wide. Keep combustibles safely away from your fireplace. Always use a properly fitted screen for your fireplace.

REGULARLY CHECK FOR SIGNS OF PROBLEMS.
Your flue pipes and chimney can deteriorate over time. Look for corrosion or rust stains on the outer shell of a metal chimney and check for bulges or corrosion in its liner.  Loose bricks, crumbling mortar, broken liners, dark stains or white powder indicate problems with masonry chimneys.  A chimney inspection will determine if any of these problems exist.  These should be fixed immediately by a qualified mason.

Comment balloon 12 commentsJohn LeBaron • April 29 2008 05:44PM

Comments

John, thank you for your post, I need to check out my chimney
Posted by Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California (Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002) over 10 years ago
Very good advise. Too many deaths every year from NOT doing that.
Posted by Patrick Lambert, Hawaii Real Estate Expert (ALLY Real Estate) over 10 years ago
Welcome to Active Rain.  Make sure to check out other blogs so you can see what works and what does not.
Posted by Ted Mackel, Simi Valley Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Realty Simi Valley) over 10 years ago
Keep up the blogging John! Make sure that you post to the groups you've joined so that you can get your blog out there more.
Posted by John LaRocca (LaRocca Inspections) over 10 years ago
Welcome JLB! Good to have you. Keep up the good work!
Posted by Chris Griffin (Sewerline Check Professionals) over 10 years ago
Very informative post, I have never seen one about fireplace safety tips.  Smoke coming inside the house is definitely not a good sign!  That happened at our cabin and it took a while to get the smoke out!
Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE) over 10 years ago

Welcome to ActiveRain!

If you would like a few tips on getting the most out of ActiveRain, please visit my blog Welcome to Active Rain.  It has a few simple steps of what to do now that you have joined.

If you ever have any questions, just let me know.

Troy Trumm
Posted by The Trumm Team Omaha Homes for Sale, Real Estate (Keller Williams Greater Omaha) over 10 years ago

Hey John!

Welcome to Active Rain!  This is a great forum to learn and present in.  If you're like me, you'll quickly become addicted to all the wonderful blogs that are out there.  Pick out some of your favorite groups, and start reading!  There's everything from humor to technology and more!

Enjoy, and again, Welcome!

Posted by Bill Kennedy, Homes For Sale Greenville SC (Keller Williams Realty) over 10 years ago
Welcome to Active Rain!  It is great to have you!
Posted by Erin Newington, Elk Grove Realtor ((916) 585-3858 ) over 10 years ago

Welcome to Active Rain! For some tips on how to get started here, check out my blog entry at ActiveRain Fast-Start Tips for Quick and Easy Points

Happy blogging and good luck!

Posted by Benjamin Clark, Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert (Homebuyer Representation, Inc.) over 10 years ago

John:

very good post and great information. Welcome to AR. Hope you have a great week.

Posted by Alan Kirkpatrick, Alan in Austin (Austin Texas Homes) over 10 years ago

John - You are the BOMB!

Posted by Steve Nichols over 10 years ago

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