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We at ServiceMaster of Baltimore would like to share information to help you enhance preventive protocols for your office.

We also want you to know that we are qualified and equipped with the required protocols and can perform precautionary and post exposure cleaning for the COVID-19 Virus. Please call us if we can be of service.

Safety And Maintenance Tips For Using Your Fireplace

baltimore fire damage restorationHome fires occur more often in the winter months than during any other season. ServiceMaster of Baltimore is here to share some important safety and maintenance tips to keep in mind when using your fireplace.

Understanding The Importance Of Fireplace Maintenance

Everytime you use your fireplace, the fire creates things like smoke, water vapor, and gasses that are expelled through your chimney. When these combustive by-products make their way up the chimney, condensation is formed by the cooler temperatures of the chimney bricks. The residue that forms is called creosote. This black, tar-like residue can become incredibly dangerous over time if it’s not removed. When your fireplace is clean, it lessens your chance of experiencing a house fire.

Safely Lighting Your Fireplace 

It’s always important to be aware of fire safety, especially when you’ll be using your fireplace more frequently. Here are a few things to remember:

  1. Keeping the glass doors open slightly will prevent you from restricting the air supply. This allows the air to be drawn up through the chimney. When the air supply is restricted, smoke stays in the flue longer and is more likely to create creosote.
  2. Make sure there is a metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent embers from jumping out onto the carpet. If possible, place a non-flammable rug in front of the fireplace.
  3. The area around the fireplace should be clear of any flammable items, such as furniture, curtains, newspapers, etc. If there are any items that are too close, they could catch fire.
  4. Do not use your fireplace as a furnace. A fire should never be lit for more than 5 hours at a time.
  5. Be sure the flue is open prior to lighting a fire.
  6. Never leave a lit fireplace unattended, and make sure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Fireplace

One way to prevent a fire is by making sure to properly maintain your home fireplace. Keep in mind that although these tips are necessary for cleaning and maintaining your fireplace, it’s still important to call a chimney sweep to inspect it once a year.

  1. Clean the ashes and coals from your fireplace once a week when you’re using it frequently. To do this, you’ll want to wait at least 12 to 24 hours from when you made your last fire. Using a shovel, scoop the ashes into a metal container with a lid and place it outside at a location that’s at least 3 feet from your home. Never use a vacuum to clean up the ashes because there may be live coals in the ashes.
  2. Maintaining the cleanliness of the glass doors in front of your fireplace is important. When the doors are cool, you can use a solution of liquid dishwashing detergent, warm water, and vinegar to clean any deposits or debris off of the doors.
  3. When you’re using your fireplace often, leave 1 inch of ash in the firebox for insulation. This will allow the coals to heat faster when lighting a fire. In the months that you aren’t using your fireplace, this area should be completely clean.

ServiceMaster Disaster Restoration Services

If you experience fire and/or smoke damage, we’re here to help return your home or office back to its pre-loss condition. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Give us a call at 410-780-1700.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022 at 1:26 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.