Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Friday, July 10, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 64° Clear
News >  Features

Time To Get Fireplace Ready For Winter

Nick Harder The Orange County Register

Putting a crackle instead of a pop in your fireplace fires this season is a snap. A crackling fire when the weather gets cold is great. A fire that “pops” instead of burning properly is frustrating. It can also be dangerous.

It’s time to get your fireplace ready for winter. If you need help, call a chimney sweep or mason. The colder the weather, the busier they’ll get. If you wait, they may not get to you until spring.

OK, so that’s an exaggeration.

Why is it important to have your fireplace and chimney inspected? Because a fireplace with problems could result in a flash fire or small explosion. Even if the problem isn’t that bad, something as simple as an inappropriate spark arrester could allow rain in your chimney and fireplace, damaging both.

All fireplaces should be inspected annually. This is especially true if you burn lots of wood. It’s more so if you burn predominantly softwoods. Softwoods burn fast and at a lower temperature than hardwoods. The burning of softwoods often leaves creosote residue that can be highly flammable if left to build up.

That’s not to say that all fireplaces and chimneys need to be repaired or even cleaned annually. Many of the newer, steel fireplaces might not have to be cleaned for years.

Guidelines to help prevent problems in your fireplace or chimney include the following:

Burn only seasoned wood. Unseasoned, or green, wood promotes smoke buildup.

Make sure your chimney has an adequate spark arrester.

Local journalism is essential.

The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.


Swedish Thoracic Surgery: Partners in patient care

 (Courtesy Bergman Draper Oslund Udo)
Sponsored

Matt Bergman knows the pain and anger that patients with mesothelioma feel.