On cold days, a fireplace in the house is the personification of coziness, family warmth, and comfort. In our difficult times, it is also an opportunity to save on home heating. However, safety is an important element, so you should listen to the recommendations of experts.
Romantic relaxation from watching the flames in the fireplace is no reason to forget about safety. In this case, “forgetfulness” can cost a life.
Some believe that the profession of a chimney sweep is a thing of the past, but this is not entirely true. Another thing is that the pipes themselves have changed: they now have special hatches for cleaning soot. Yes, and new devices appeared in the tools, for example, sliding telescopic rods with metal ruffs that can be changed. Pipes began to be made more voluminous and fans were installed in them, which also cleaned soot. As for chimney sweeps, this profession simply began to be called differently: a specialist in heating systems. Experts advise cleaning chimneys every two years.
On sale there is a new effective tool for cleaning the fireplace – special tablets. They are placed in the combustion chamber and the door is tightly closed. They easily remove hard deposits, increase efficiency and reduce fuel consumption. Used for prevention or light pollution.
Lighting a fireplace – how to do it right
Flammable liquids are not the best option for starting a fire, it is safer to use old newspapers. Firewood is recommended to take dry, best of all – hardwood. Raw hiss, smoke, smoke and flare up poorly. When soot is formed, creosote is released, the substances of which emit a lot of soot. It quickly clogs the chimney and ignites easily, so a fire is quite likely.
The fireplace has adjustable dampers that need to be opened. Prepare old sheets of newspaper by rolling them into grapefruit-sized clumps and placing them between logs. Lay firewood crosswise, not forgetting to put newspapers underneath. The flow of air allows the firewood to ignite faster. You can also use pills for lighting a fireplace, and also dry corn cobs, pine cones, well-dried tree branches.
After the small firewood has flared up, you can add two small logs, and then larger ones. It is important to monitor the burning of wood in the fireplace in order to prevent a fire.
Do not burn various garbage and old boxes in the fireplace. And never (!) leave a burning fireplace unattended. When leaving home or going to bed, wait until the fireplace has gone out and there are no smoldering ash left in it.
The chimney remains open at night, as the carbon monoxide released during combustion is toxic. Experts advise installing carbon monoxide detectors in the house, it is highly desirable – on each floor and in the bedrooms. At the same time, the detectors should be changed once a year, and the batteries in them should be checked monthly.
Fuel and fireplace cleaning
It is better to store firewood in special rooms with a roof – pantries, sheds. If coal is used, you need to know that it burns longer, therefore, it will take a longer time to wait for its complete burnout.
The ash is removed with a special spatula and sent to a metal container intended for it. Remember: it should not stand on a wooden floor and it is better to place it away from combustible materials.
With regular use of the fireplace, the firebox (the place where the wood burns) should be cleaned once a week. However, leave a little ash – it contributes to a faster ignition of coal. Experts recommend thoroughly cleaning the fireplace after the end of the heating season.
Dry wood burns better, so it must be dried before use. Freshly cut wood is damp and burns unevenly, producing a lot of smoke and little heat. The best firewood from trees of broad-leaved deciduous species is ash, oak, maple, beech, birch. Birch, by the way, leaves almost no ash. It is better not to use firewood from coniferous trees, they are only good for lighting, because they burn very quickly.
Even when the fireplace damper is closed, the seal is not always effective. The glass doors on the front of the fireplace can effectively keep the air inflow into the fireplace and heat. Yes, and burning wood at the door is safer. When the fire is completely burned out, the damper cannot be closed immediately – carbon monoxide will still form for some time.
Warm air rises up the chimney. To keep the heat in the house at night, it is necessary to have a special metal shield or glass doors in the fireplace. The shield can be closed after the fire is completely burnt out and the embers go out. Then the heat will not leave the fireplace directly through the chimney.
Fireplace equipment and tools
When preparing to survive the winter with a fireplace, check your equipment. A durable screen will help keep the coals inside the fireplace, preventing them from flying into the room. Fireplace tools are usually sold as a set – brush, spatula, tongs. When buying, do not be stingy – in this case, the quality of the tools and the reliability of their use increase safety. To store firewood, a large basket or bag is used in which they were transported.
By the way, did you know that:
The ash absorbs the smell of pets. She can clean paving slabs near the house – sprinkle them with ashes, and then wipe with a brush and pour water.
Ash is a good fertilizer. If you sprinkle them on the ground in the garden, then he will give up his nutrients. But too much ash should not be poured.
Ash protects garden plants from snails and slugs, just sprinkle them on the ground around them.