President Obama has declared this week National Fire Prevention Week. Read President Obama’s proclamation here.
This year’s theme for National Fire Prevention Week is “Protect Your Family from Fire.” There are simple steps families can take to help avoid tragedies. Install smoke alarms on each level of your house and in each bedroom and change their batteries every year. We like to replace ours on the day we roll our clocks back in the fall so we know our smoke alarms are in working order for winter, when most home fires occur.
Families should have an escape plan in case of fire. Agree on escape routes from the house and designate an outside meeting place. Just as kids have fire drills at school, have fire drills at home on a regular basis. The more you and your family practice, the better off you’ll be in the case of an emergency.
In addition to smoke alarms, your home should also have alarms for carbon monoxide, a deadly, invisible gas with no odor. These combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are a great way to protect your family from both dangers.
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Tagged with: child safety
Are you asking, “Do I need a chimney cap?”
Chimney caps are a great way to protect your home, chimney, and even surrounding areas from a variety of hazards.
Why Do I Need a Chimney Cap?
- Chimney caps keep birds, bats, squirrels, and raccoons from entering your chimney. In addition to the nuisance of having animals in your chimney, nests can become fire hazards during winter.
- Chimney caps protect your flue, crown, and brickwork from water damage. As water seeps into cracks and freezes, it expands, slowly widening the crack. Over time, this process can require expensive repairs. Chimney caps shield your chimney from water, preventing damage.
- Chimney caps keep burning embers and sparks from flying out of your chimney and potentially starting a wildfire. Spark arrestor models with smaller, 5/8-inch mesh are available for homes in fire-prone areas or homes with wooden shingles.
So should you buy a chimney cap? Absolutely! We consider uncapped chimneys incomplete. Chimney caps protect you and your home from animals, prevent expensive repairs, and reduce the risk of wildfires.
Wondering what kind of cap you need? Use our step-by-step guide for selecting the right cap for your chimney.
How to Tell If Firewood is Seasoned
Seasoned firewood burns hotter and with less smoke than freshly cut firewood. Typically, firewood should dry for about six months before being burned. But in case you aren’t sure how to tell if firewood is seasoned, here are a few tips for checking:
- Well-seasoned firewood is darker and grayer in color than fresh wood.
- When knocked together, seasoned logs will make a hollow “clunk” sound.
- Cracks will appear in the ends of the logs.
- On seasoned logs the bark will be loose and start to fall off.
For the more detail-oriented, the ideal moisture content of firewood should be below 20%.
Moisture meters are designed for testing firewood and will give you a digital readout of the percent of moisture in your firewood.