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If you’re fortunate to have a fireplace in your home, you know how cozy and inviting it can make your space during the winter. But before you light up those logs, there are a few things you need to do to prepare your fireplace for use.

It’s essential to make sure the fireplace is both functional and safe. Here are some tips for getting the fireplace ready and keeping it in working order during the winter.

Prepare Your Fireplace with Yearly Fireplace Inspections

Schedule an appointment for a professional to come and inspect your fireplace. They will clean out any creosote and other combustible materials to reduce the risk of a chimney fire.

Smoke and CO Alarms

Now that colder weather is approaching, it’s essential to make sure our homes are safe and warm. Working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are critical to keeping our homes safe. These alarms can save lives, so it’s essential to test them regularly and replace the batteries as needed.

Many people think that because their carbon monoxide alarm comes with long-lasting batteries, they don’t need to be replaced. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. A few dollars for new batteries is a small price for peace of mind.

Clear Away Clutter

To ensure a safe and enjoyable fireplace experience, clear away any clutter that has accumulated in front of the fireplace. This includes any objects that may be combustible or produce toxic fumes when warmed. Be sure to also keep furniture and carpets at a safe distance from the fireplace.

Have a Quality Chimney Cap

A chimney cap is integral to owning a home with a fireplace. The chimney cap is exposed to the weather and, as a result, is susceptible to damage and corrosion. If you’re using a chimney cap with a guard or screening, make sure it’s free of debris.

If you don’t already have one, get a chimney cap. Birds and other animals will use open chimney cavities as dwellings, which can serve as fuel for a chimney fire.

Check the Masonry

As a homeowner, it’s important to know the condition of the chimney. If left unchecked, cracks or holes in the masonry can lead to a fire. If you’re concerned about the state of the chimney, hire a professional mason to inspect it and make any necessary repairs.

Get the Right Wood to Prepare Your Fireplace

If you’re planning on using your fireplace this fall, now is the time to prepare your firewood. Firewood must be split into pieces and cured for at least six months to a year before use in a fireplace. Place the wood in a dry area outside to keep it from getting wet and attracting pests. When stacking your wood, make sure the split side is down and off the ground.

Only burn cured wood in your fireplace. Wood that is still wet burns less efficiently and creates more creosote than seasoned wood.

M&T Inspection Services offers home inspections to customers in Indianapolis. Contact us to request our services.