If you’re sitting and shivering while reading this, you may want to light a fire in that fireplace. But wait! Before you do you should know a few facts first to keep you and your family safe throughout the winter. The most important thing is making sure that you have your annual chimney sweep and inspection scheduled. All American Chimney Service, LLC is a group of professionals certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and are ready to help you with your entire fireplace and chimney needs.
Chimney sweeps are important because they remove any blockages that may have built up inside of the unit. This could be anything related to trees and leaves, animal nests and droppings, and creosotes. What are creosotes? Creosotes are known as clumps of particles that are released when firewood is burned that build up in your chimney. You cannot prevent the release of creosotes, but you can follow steps to reduce them. One of the main things to remember is to use treated wood.
Now that you know to watch out for creosotes, you need to understand the impact they can have on your and your home. First, creosotes can be extremely harmful to a person’s health. They are more harmful towards children and elderly people, so make sure they are taking extra precautions. The smaller exposures commonly lead to side effects such as skin irritation, chemical burns, and mental disorientation. The worst side effects are things like organ problems, unconsciousness, and in rare cases cancer or death.
It is important to make sure that your children do not come into contact with creosotes. If they are playing on the floor and get near the fireplace, their hands and toys can get creosote on them, which the child could then get in their eyes or mouth.
Some people have no option but to be around creosotes. If you are one of these people take extra care and protect yourself. Make sure you are wearing long clothing that you wash separately from other clothes in the home where they do not spread. Also, some medical products for psoriasis and other common diseases contain creosote so make sure the product is not swallowed or allowed to get in the eye.