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New Year's is the Best Time for Fireplace Resolutions

As we say goodbye to 2015 and bring in 2016, many of us are looking to make some New Yearís resolutions. The typical resolutions that people make are related to their diets or exercising more or picking up a new hobby.

Weíve got a new one for you Ė taking better care of your fireplace and chimney. Many of us put off cleaning our chimneys or perform chimney cleanings infrequently. We could be making a big mistake if we put them off.

We all want to stay warm when the temperature drops using our fireplace without putting our homes at risk. Firefighters recommend that you should clean your chimney before you using it in the winter months.

The reason is that when we burn wood in our fireplace, the heat and the smoke sends up a by-product composed of flammable tar that sticks to the inside of the flute and when it builds up long enough it can catch on fire.

If you let a chimney fire get out of control it might be too late. But by listening for the popping sounds that accompany a chimney fire, homeowners can prevent chimney explosions that could lead to a collapsed chimney. Installing a chimney cap will ensure that branches, leaves, debris and small animals donít make their way into your chimney.

You can also take certain measures to make sure the inside of your home is protected from a fire. By installing a spark screen you can keep any time of embers from jumping out and landing on the floor, or the carpet, or the rugs or curtains. More importantly a spark screen will keep burning embers away from small children and animals.  Another helpful tip is to burn the proper wood. Burning seasonal or dried wood in the fireplace is better and burning larger and longer pieces of wood instead of a bunch of smaller ones is more efficient. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a major issue with gas-powered fireplaces and it's recommended that you install an alarm to warn of  excessive levels of carbon monoxide.

Chimney and fireplace fires happen all over the country, they happen in Texas too. On November 24th there were two chimney fires in the same day.  A chimney fire early caused about $100,000 in damage in northeast Dallas at the Sierra Vista Apartments. The fire ignited in the attic of the two-story apartment building, displacing eight units and causing $40,000 in damage. Earlier in the day, firefighters saw fire coming out of a chimney in the two-story the Holly Glen Condominiums in the 7500 block of Holly Hill Drive.

So when the January 1st rolls around later this week, make sure that you make a resolution to get your chimney cleaned this year if you havenít done so yet. An annual chimney cleaning before you use it is the only way to make sure that you donít have a chimney or fireplace fire that can damage your home and put your loved ones at risk.

American Fireplace, your fireplace and chimney experts.

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