Bought A New Home? Don’t Use The Fireplace Until You’ve Taken These Steps!

Congratulations on your new home! If you've never owned a house with a chimney before, these tips will help you get started with your new fireplace. Before you light your first fire, follow these steps. 

Buy the Right Tools

Before you can light a fire in your fireplace, you're going to need the right tools. These tools can be purchased at a fireplace accessory store, at a home improvement center or online. While you're shopping for your new fireplace tools, you'll probably see a variety of different accessories that you can buy for your fireplace, but the following are the most necessary accessories:

  • Fireplace tool set. Standard fireplace tool sets include a poker, log tool, brush and shovel. Logs can shift while the fire is burning, and these tools are important for adjusting logs while a fire is burning. In addition, the shovel and brush are useful for cleaning the fireplace when the fire is finished. This is important because clearing out the ashes from your fireplace is important for achieving adequate air flow. 
  • Fireplace screen. The fireplace screen will help prevent sparks from flying out of your fireplace and into the room.
  • Fireplace grate. The fireplace grate keeps logs up off the floor of your fireplace. This is essential for airflow. Without adequate air flow, your home can fill with smoke while the fire is burning. 
  • Fire extinguisher. This is an important piece of safety equipment for any home with a fireplace.

Have the Chimney and Fireplace Inspected

Chimneys require regular maintenance in order to be safe to use. Cracks in the liner, creosote buildup and debris in the chimney can become fire hazards if they're not addressed before you light the first fire. Have your chimney inspected by a qualified fireplace service company (such as B C Fireplace Service Inc). Your fireplace inspector will check the interior and exterior of the chimney for structural defects and make recommendations for repair or cleaning as necessary.

Since this is your first time owning a home with a chimney, you may want to take the time during the inspection to ask the inspector any questions you have about burning a fire in your fireplace. Your inspector will be able to show you how to open the damper, and may be able to recommend a firewood provider in your area. He or she may also recommend a cleaning schedule for your chimney based on the frequency with which you anticipate using your fireplace. Follow all maintenance advice and recommendations made by your chimney inspector. This will help ensure your fireplace is safe to use for years to come.