Tips to Prep for First-Time Fireplace Use
Sitting snugly by the glow of a fireplace in fall and winter is such a delight, though starting a fire for the first time can be very intimidating. It’s no wonder since our age of electronics is such a far cry from primeval acts shared with cavemen. Well, today’s homes and fireplaces are definitely upgrading, but know-how is still required. The following rundown on how to prep for use of your fireplace and start a fire will put you at ease with the process in no time.
Steps Before Starting a Fire
There are some safety steps to take care of at the outset when preparing to use your fireplace for the first time. Safety should always be at the forefront when using solid fuel appliances in the home. The following should be taken care of before you light a fire.
- Schedule a chimney inspection if it has been more than one year since your chimney has been checked or if preparing for first-time use. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, the chimney technician will check to see whether creosote has built up to a dangerous level, requiring chimney cleaning. The chimney liner is checked; and if there is any damage, chimney liner replacement is usually recommended. If you have a gas fireplace, dust and soot will be cleaned out of fireplace components and accumulated soot or dust will be removed from the chimney.
- To ensure proper operation of your enclosed fireplace, make sure the gaskets that seal the fireplace fit properly. This ensures that the fire doesn’t pull in too much oxygen, resulting in a dangerously hot fire.
- Be sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in your home are in good working condition.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in a room near the fireplace.
- Be prepared to use your fireplace screen, which will prevent hot embers from entering your home.
- Finally, open the damper before lighting the fire.
What’s Needed to Build a Fire
It’s important that you don’t burn anything in the fireplace other than what is recommended. Tinder and kindling are used to get a fire going. Balled-up newspaper, tiny twigs, and dryer lint are suitable for tinder. Small bits of kindling should be cut from seasoned wood, which is wood with low moisture content. Once you light the tinder using a long match or lighter, the kindling will burn next and then the firewood. Note: Never use lighter fluid or any other type of accelerant in your fireplace.
Tips During Fires
Be sure children in the home understand the potential dangers of a fireplace. Let them know that ashes and embers can be very hot long after a fire has grown cold. Also, glass on fireplaces can be extremely hot.
Supervise pets near fireplaces, as well
Never leave a fire unattended. Even with a screen in front of the fireplace, accidents can happen and accidental fires can quickly become unmanageable.
Choose Your Fireplace
At Dubuque Fireplace and Patio in Dubuque, IA, you can choose from a wide selection of name-brand fireplaces. The chimney technicians at Dubuque Fireplace are highly trained and can provide fireplace and heating stove installation that gives you added peace of mind about the safety of using your new heating appliance. Contact us today by calling (563) 582-5156; additional contact details follow.
Dubuque Fireplace & Patio
925 Century Drive, Dubuque, Iowa
Phone – (563) 582-5156
Chimney Specialists Inc.
869 Main Street, Highland, WI
Phone – (608) 929-4887 / Toll Free (800) 395-6660