Remember to maintain your fireplace this winter

WITH temperatures dropping, keeping your fireplace, flue and hearth clean and properly maintained is extremely important during the colder months.

Owning a fireplace comes with the responsibility of keeping you, your family, and home safe and ensuring you are getting the most out of your heater.

Manager Development Services and Amenity Nick Vlahandreas said regardless of the type of fireplace you own, whether it is wood burning, gas, inbuilt or freestanding, it should be inspected once a year by a professional.

“Generally a professional will check the fire box, hearth, flue or chimney in both open and solid fuel heaters,” he said.

“Gas fires are not exempt and should be inspected by a qualified plumber to ensure they function correctly.”

Many people are poorly informed about the importance of basic chimney maintenance. This lack of understanding causes many preventable deaths and injuries each year worldwide.

The three most serious problems that result from poorly maintained chimneys are:
• Carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Chimney fire.
• Premature failure of the fire place and chimney.

Tips for correct use:
Fire box:
• Check condition at least annually.
• Ensure combustible materials such as curtains, timber wall cladding etc. are the required distance from the unit.
• Ensure that the unit has been installed to the manufacturer’s instructions and specifications.

• Constructed out of approved materials.
• Correct dimensions from sides, rear and front of appliance.

• Have it cleaned annually.
• Maintained in good condition.
• Remains clear of combustible materials.
• Properly flashed at roof level.
• Ensure that snow has not damaged the flue.

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