It's imperative to ensure that your chimney and fireplace are safe to use throughout the season, whether gas or wood burning. Falling debris, water stains, excessive smoke or heat, and strong odors from your fireplace are all signs that you have a problem. You must verify that the flue gases correctly draft while using gas or wood-burning fireplace. If they don't, it might be dangerous and allow poisonous flue gases into your house. 

So, before you kindle a fire in the fireplace, consider the following procedures to ensure its pristine working condition.

Steps to check if your fireplace is safe to use

  • Inspect The Firebox

Inspect the firebox liner for cracks, gaps, or indications of wear. If the liner has deteriorated to the extent that the steel body beneath it can be seen, you may need to seek the assistance of fireplace repair Sacramento professionals. Otherwise, too much heat might accumulate within your fireplace and cause significant harm. 

  • Keep an Eye Out For Smoke Stains

Smoke stains might also indicate that your fireplace isn't working correctly. If you notice spots on the ceiling, smoke might escape from a crack between the hearth and the firebox. When this occurs, sparks that fall into the gap might produce smoke, necessitating an involvement of an experienced fireplace specialist to resolve this issue. 

If you detect smoke stains over the fireplace entrance, the problem is with the flue damper. It's a device with a hand-operated lever enabling you to control the airflow into the fireplace. Additionally, if the lever is broken or caked with muck, you may not be able to fully open or close the damper, allowing smoke to escape from the fireplace. Again, a specialist can decide if the mechanism can be repaired or replaced.

  • Check That Your Grate is The Correct Size

Bigger isn't always better when it comes to your fireplace grate. The CSIA recommends that a metal grate that contains burning fuel be no more than two-thirds the size of your fireplace opening. A larger grate may encourage you to put on too much wood, resulting in dangerously hot flames in your fireplace. If your grate is too huge, replace it with a smaller one that fits your needs better. 

  • Examine The Chimney

Although you might not want to climb to the top of your roof to check the chimney, it doesn't mean you should overlook it. One of the most critical actions you can do before utilizing your fireplace is to get your chimney examined. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests having a professional inspection of your chimney annually.

  • Double-Check Your Fire Extinguisher

Always check where your fire extinguisher is and ensure it's fully charged and ready to go. Remember to open the flue before starting a fire and close it while not in use to save energy. Lastly, ensure you have enough seasoned firewood to enjoy your beautiful fireplace whenever you want.

The Bottom Line

The fireplace inspection and repair is undoubtedly worthwhile now and then, specifically if you live in an older home, as older chimneys require a little more maintenance. This regular maintenance and inspection might help avoid worse issues or fires from developing in the chimney or home.