This is a short post about fireplace safety. This morning (11/6/13) in Pacific Beach, a condominium fireplace went up in flames after the residents lit the fire for the first time this season. No one was apparently hurt but the resulting fire caused about $50,000 in property damage to the unit. Check out the story and video here.
Many of our home buyers purchase homes that have wood burning fireplaces. Most of these also have natural gas inserts or fire-starter lines. We always tell our clients to have the fireplace cleaned and inspected before using it each season. We use and can recommend local chimney sweeps and fireplace companies if you need a good referral.
One final tip: if you have a natural gas fire-starter line or decorative insert, home inspectors tell us that the damper should have a “damper clamp” attached to the damper flap to prevent it from ever closing completely. This is a safety precaution to prevent CO2 poisoning.
So, before you enjoy that first fire this season, call a local, licensed, reputable chimney company and make sure your fireplace is in good condition.