The hidden dangers of fall.. what you NEED to know to stay safe!
After a long day at work and sitting in traffic, you grab your pumpkin spice latte and cozy up to your loved one on the couch. The days have begun to shorten, the leaves are starting to change colors and the temperatures are dropping slightly every day as the sun sets earlier than the day before.
Its chilly enough tonight to put on the fireplace!
You grab some logs and start a fire, and soon the room is filled with a warm glow. As you enjoy the heat, you notice that smoke is starting to fill the room. You check the damper and make sure everything is properly set. However, smoke continues to fill the room and now you are getting concerned. The smoke detectors start to sound in the house, and so you call 911.
This is a classic call that as firefighters we attend to every fall. What most people neglect to do before throwing the logs in, is get their chimney inspected. If you don't have the chimney cleaned at the end of the winter/spring season, then creosote can build up and cause a fire (number 1 cause of chimney fires). Creosote is a highly flammable substance that is a product of incomplete combustion.
The other common issue is animals building nests in the chimney.
What is the takeaway here? Get your chimney inspected by a professional if you haven't used it in a while.
The same can be send for your furnace, Make sure that before you fire it up, you get it inspected and change the air filters every month. Carbon Monoxide (a byproduct of combustion) can be leaking from your furnace, and is one of the most common causes of CO poisoning. You CANNOT smell or see CO, which makes it deadly for everyone in it's path.
Make sure to have working CO detectors on every floor of your home this season and to test them monthly. They should be replaced every 5 years. These simple steps will literally SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Now, go ahead and enjoy that latte and nice fire, because you have the confidence that you took all the right steps to keep your family safe.