With many areas in recovery mode from the recent tornadoes, I received these safety tips pertaining to fireplaces and chimneys. Turns out they are often damaged but since they aren’t used until the following autumn, the damage can remain hidden until a serious problem occurs. So, I’m happy to pass these along:
- Recognize fireplaces and furnaces as major appliances. Floors can become weakened, insulation can become sodden and metal rusts when water soaks a home. Consider replacement of your furnace and fireplace when replacing your kitchen appliances.
- Be on the safe side. Before using your fireplace, woodstove or furnace following a damaging storm, flood or hurricane, the Chimney Safety of America recommends an inspection by a professional to ensure that your furnace and fireplace have not suffered water damage.
- Replace gas logs. Fireplaces that are fitted to burn gas logs pose one of the most dangerous problems because small pieces of debris and/or damage to the gas control valve might not be obvious. Avoid the risk of blockage and rapid deterioration of the components by replacing logs frequently.
- Replace damaged appliances. Any electrical wiring or fans associated with your fireplace or furnace’s operation must also be replaced if they have become waterlogged. Just like your kitchen’s refrigerator and stove, your home heating appliances need to be inspected and potentially replaced, depending on the level of water damage.
- Hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® or CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician®. When in doubt, ensure your home and family’s safety by hiring a chimney or dryer exhaust professional. CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps® and CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians® have earned the chimney and venting industry’s most respected credential by passing an intensive examination based on fire codes, clearances and standards for the construction and maintenance of chimney and venting systems. This knowledge allows them to expertly diagnose and solve chimney and venting problems.