Winter is well underway with chilly mornings glazed with frost and cold nights that make us grateful for our beloved fireplaces and wood burning stoves. If you plan on warming your home with a traditional wood burning fire this winter, it is important to make sure that it is ready for winter usage.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to ensure that your fireplace is winter ready:
Have you stocked up on Firewood?
The closer to winter we get, the more difficult it is to find properly seasoned firewood. Cold weather tends to come at us without much warning and this results in a panic. People flock to their local stores to bring enough firewood to keep their flames burning through the sudden chilly season.
Stocking up on fuel in advance is a good idea. When you have a bundle of firewood at the ready, you can light a fire whenever you like without having to worry about running out, so make sure that you have enough to last you through any cold surprises this winter.
Do you have a Fireguard?
Prevent sparks from flying out with a standard fireguard. There are many available on the market and most modern ones are actually quite attractive. They reduce smoke from entering the room and you don’t have to worry about any bits of soot or fire sparks flying out and staining the furniture or causing harm to you or your loved ones.
Has your Chimney been Swept Recently?
Obviously, one of the most important ways to prepare your fireplace for winter is to have your chimney swept and inspected. A blocked chimney is incredibly dangerous and built-up creosote residue in the inner lining of the chimney is the main cause for chimney fires - so make sure to keep your chimney well maintained this winter! It may be worth contacting a professional chimney sweep to tackle this problem for you and ensure that your chimney is in perfect condition for the winter.
Is the Fireplace area clear from Flammable Items?
Remove flammable objects from the wood-stove area. If you have anything like magazines, newspapers or books etc. close by, make sure that these are taken away from the wood stove when it is lit because accidents can happen at any time, so it is best to keep anything like this away from open flames.
Do you have the Right Fire Equipment?
Making fires requires the right equipment such as firelighters, wood and coal etc. Cleaning ash from the fireplace also requires certain tools such as an ash caddy which will safely store ashes and can be used to clean your fireplace. Disposing ashes safely is important because hot ashes can spark new fires without warning. Check out this advice from one of our previous posts about how to clean ash from the fireplace both safely and effectively.