Indoor fireplaces can make your space feel nice and cozy. However, they can also be dangerous if they are not maintained properly. A fireplace could lead to a house fire, or it could cause carbon monoxide to accumulate in your home. So, as you use your fireplace, keep an eye out for these key signs. If you notice any of them, then you need to put out the fire and call a chimney sweep—ASAP.
There's smoke in your home.
When a fireplace and the associated chimney are working properly, all of the smoke should get pulled up the chimney. If some of the smoke is making its way into the home, then the chimney is plugged, either partially or fully. Where there is smoke, there is also carbon monoxide, which means it is not safe to keep operating your fireplace like this. Call a chimney sweep and have them come clean the chimney out before you light another fire.
The materials around your fireplace are turning black.
Look at the wall materials on either side of your fireplace. Whether you have brick, stone, or drywall in these areas, you want to make sure they are not turning black. If they are turning black, then it's because too much heat, and perhaps also some smoke, is escaping from the fireplace rather than going up the chimney. In addition to calling a chimney sweep, you may want to call a builder and have them make some repairs.
Your fire is not as hot as usual.
Are you having trouble keeping the fire lit? Maybe you're able to light the fire, but it doesn't seem to be putting off as much heat as you'd like or expect. This is often an indication that the chimney is blocked or the flue is malfunctioning. Either of these issues will keep the fire from getting enough air, and without enough air, fires do not get as hot as you'd like. Over time, burning wood at too low a temperature can cause creosote to build up in the chimney, and creosote is flammable. So, you need to address this issue ASAP, whether you really mind the lower fire temperature or not.
If you have a chimney and a fireplace, you need to continually put safety first. A chimney sweep can help you do that. Call a chimney sweep in your area, and feel free to ask them any lingering questions you have about fireplace maintenance.Share