The morning and evening air is presenting a chill – it’s time to ready your fireplace for the season.
Before you click that lighter to start your first fire, make sure your fireplace is safe.
- Visually check the outside for repairs. Do you see any cracks in the brick, or corrosion in the metal?
- Make sure the chimney cap is up to code, and in doesn’t show any signs of damage.
- Check to make sure no bird or squirrel nests sit in the space.
- Check the full length of your chimney for dampness, or stains. This is another sign of needed repairs.
- Open the clean-out door at the base of the flue and look to see if there is a build-up of soot. Look for anything that might indicate a need for repair. (We can give you a recommendation to a certified chimney specialist to check it for you.)
- Make sure the damper opens and closes easily and fully.
- Check to brick firebox – is it ready for the high heat of a fire?
- Clear the area around the hearth of any decorations, debris, flammable materials.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they’re working properly.
- Store your fire extinguisher close by and learn how to use it.
Many homeowners are remodeling traditional fireplaces into a showcase feature of the room, like this before and after photo of a Walnut Creek home.
* As always, call Pacific Gas and Electric immediately to check any gas-related safety hazards, like leaks or odd smells.