A fireplace is a great device to have in your home for several reasons, but it can also be a source of problems if you do not maintain it properly. One of the hidden dangers of using a fireplace is the exposure of carbon monoxide fires can create.
Carbon monoxide is deadly, and here are two things you should know before you use your fireplace to create a beautiful fire in your house.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a gas that is silent, invisible, and odorless. This gas is released into the air when a fire burns, and it is supposed to exit a house through a ventilation system within the fireplace. When a chimney is not working properly, the carbon monoxide gas ends up trapped inside the home, and this can cause problems.
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), over 200 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in their homes. In addition to this, over 10,000 people are injured because of carbon monoxide exposure inside their homes.
It's hard to know when the ventilation in your home is not working right though, but you may start getting suspicious if your family members keep experiencing the following symptoms:
How Can You Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
A dirty chimney is one of the main causes for carbon monoxide poisoning; however, this is not the only problem caused by a dirty chimney. The other key problem is that dirty chimneys have a higher risk of starting on fire. The main thing you should do to prevent problems like this is to have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year.
During a chimney inspection, a chimney sweep will look inside the chimney and examine all the parts. The sweep looks for signs of creosote buildup, which can lead to a fire, and he or she looks for issues with ventilation.
If the chimney looks good and passes the inspection, it may not need to be cleaned at this time. If the chimney is dirty, the chimney sweep will recommend cleaning it. After cleaning the chimney, you will not have to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning in your home. You can however, purchase a carbon monoxide detector simply to protect your family even more.
Before you light a fire, consider hiring a sweep to come and perform a chimney inspection. This is a great way to protect your family and your home, and you will feel better using your fireplace because you will know that it is completely safe to use. If you have other questions, contact a company like A1 Everlast Construction with any questions or concerns.