As we approach fall, I begin to think about some of my favorite fall things; the leaves changing colors, strolling around the plaza with coffee and relaxing evenings at home in front of my fireplace with a great book.
At first glance, most people see fireplaces and chimneys as beautiful additions to the architecture of their home. But we should really be looking at them for what they are; part of the heating system. Just as with your HVAC, chimneys require routine maintenance and service to ensure continued, safe and effective use.
Inspect your fireplace annually!
Three biggest problems resulting from poorly maintained chimneys are:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Chimney fires
- Premature failure of the fireplace and chimney (Source: HomeAdvisor)
A report by the National Fire Protection Association showed that between 2009 and 2013, fire departments responded to 56,000 home structure fires that involved heating equipment. The leading factor contributing to these fires (30%) was failure to clean heating equipment properly. These were primarily chimneys.
Fireplace inserts are safe, right?
I bet a good portion of you reading this are thinking this doesn’t apply to you because you have a fireplace with an insert. This type of fireplace accounted for 16% of fires in this same time period. That’s almost 9,000 fires out of the 56,000 fires that fire departments responded to. (Source: National Fire Protection Agency)
As a property owner/landlord; it’s important to take the proper steps to ensure the fireplaces in your homes are safe for use.
We have a policy in place which requires our owners to pay to have any fireplace(s) and chimney(s) inspected and cleaned by a trained and certified company. This policy kicks in when a home has a fireplace that tenants want to use when specified in their offer to lease.
By having the inspection and cleaning done, you’ll know that you did everything possible to protect your tenants and your investment in the event of a fire.
If you actively use a fireplace (even ventless gas inserts) in your home, or have investment property with a fireplace, please be sure to get it inspected annually!