There’s nothing like warming up in front of a toasty fire. However, according to the United States Fire Administration heating is the leading cause of winter fires. Each year, more than a half million winter fires cause $3 billion in property loss, 1,900 deaths and nearly 8,000 injuries. Here’s what you need to know to make your fireplace safer:
Clean creosote and soot that accumulate on the inside walls of the fireplace and chimney.
Rent equipment like brushes, rods, a ladder, protective coverings for furniture, buckets, a shovel and broom, vacuum cleaner and flashlight from your local American Rental Association member rental store.
Before getting on the roof, make sure you have someone to spot and help you with the project. Climb your ladder carefully, bringing the rods and brushes with you. Assemble the rods and brushes and run down the chimney. Finish by cleaning indoors.
While cleaning your fireplace, inspect it for any major changes.
Use a clean burning wood that has been properly dried. Cut your own firewood by renting a chainsaw, an iron wedge, a sledge hammer and a splitting maul from your local equipment rental store. Stay safe and warm this winter by being prepared.