In Ireland, winter is when many homeowners use their fireplaces and chimneys to keep warm. More than 1,000 fires were started around the country in 2020, according to figures from the Department of Housing and Local Government show. However, if you don’t take the proper steps to ensure your chimney is in good working order, you could risk fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on your chimney during the colder months and make sure everything is running smoothly.
Cleaning Your Chimney Regularly
chimneychoice.ie has outlined some steps to help keep your chimney safe. The most important step you can take to ensure that your chimney remains safe throughout the winter is to clean it regularly. This will help remove any potential blockages or build-ups of ash, soot, or creosote that could cause a fire or other problems with your fireplace. You should also inspect your chimney for any signs of damage or wear and tear before using it for the first time after a long period of disuse.
Carbon Monoxide Detection
Another critical safety measure for your home this winter is installing a carbon monoxide detector near your fireplace. Carbon monoxide is an odourless, invisible gas that can be deadly if inhaled in large quantities. A good quality detector can alert you quickly if there are dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the air, allowing you to take action before anyone gets hurt.
Does A Chimney Cowl Reduce Fire Risk?
When a chimney isn’t fitted with a cowl, there’s an increased risk of sparks and embers from burning wood entering the flue and igniting combustible material inside it. This is especially true if you’re using softwoods such as pine or fir for fuel. A chimney cowl helps reduce this risk by creating an updraft which prevents sparks from escaping into the room or building above it. Additionally, some models come with built-in spark arrestors which further reduce any chance of fire occurring inside the flue or within other parts of the home.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to have your chimney checked by a professional at least once yearly. A qualified technician can check for potential risks and advise on how to keep it safe throughout the year. They may also suggest additional measures, such as installing spark arrestors or adding insulation around the flue pipe if necessary.
Keeping your chimney safe this winter is essential for maintaining a warm and cosy home environment without putting yourself at risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. To ensure everything runs smoothly all season long, clean and inspect your chimney regularly, install a carbon monoxide detector near your fireplace, and have it checked by a professional once per year. With these simple steps in mind, you’ll be ready to enjoy many cosy fireside nights all winter long!