Wood burning devices, such as fireplaces and stoves, are among the most dangerous systems found in the home. Poor installation, or lack of maintenance, can lead to a serious fire hazard.
Wood burning stoves and fireplaces are found in many homes, both older and new construction. These systems, because poor maintenance or improper installation is so common, can be the cause of a fire. Due to the vulnerability of these systems, the professional home inspector must carefully evaluate them.
More often than not, unless a chimney sweep or another professional has recently performed professional service, the home inspector finds a multitude of correctable problems that are significant safety issues. These concerns, while the list below is not intended to be inclusive, would typically involve heavy deposits of creosote in the stove, thermia kaminofen fireplace or flue (the purpose of the chimney is to vent exhaust gases not to collect combustible materials); broken or cracked firebricks; loose, torn or generally bad gaskets at doors; poorly planned and unsafe installations such as insufficient clearances to combustibles; or the very common malady of the short hearth. A hearth protects the floor and should extend out at least 18 inches past the opening of the wood-burning device. That non-combustible hearth on the floor protects carpets and flooring materials from being assaulted by burning embers.
As a result of the safety issues involved with wood burning devices and chimneys, the National Fire Protection Association recommends that a Level 2 chimney inspection should be made part of every sale or transfer of property. A Level 2 inspection is an in-depth inspection by a specially trained and licensed chimney professional. Such an inspection goes beyond the visual inspection provided by a home inspector and can catch subtle, but potentially serious, safety hazards that exist at the fireplace, stove, flue and associated components.
Understanding the Benefits and Different Types of Electric Fireplaces
The trend of going ‘green’ has increased significantly in the past few years. Part of this is due to the unfortunate fact that the fossil fuels are slowly running out. In other words, people are starting to believe in sustainability – and the idea that the environment needs saving – because they have to and not because they entirely want to. Whatever the case, the change is occurring. One of the more notable things that are being affected by this kind of ‘consciousness’ change is that people are beginning to converted to electric fireplaces. Electrical fireplaces are not only great heating sources but they also options traditional heaters do not offer.
Electrical fireplaces come in a variety of styles and designs. For these reasons, as well as the sustainability aspects, these kinds of fireplaces have increased ten-fold in popularity. Consider the following benefits of electric fireplaces:
Because these kinds of fireplaces don’t need to be connected to any gas lines they can be placed just about anywhere in a home. This kind of ‘mobility’ allows the fireplace to be designed in unique ways. They can be engineered to match the tone and pallet of a room, for instance.
One of the more talked out concerns with gas powered fireplaces was that they posed a danger to a home. With fireplaces that are run by electricity, this kind of fear becomes almost entirely obsolete. No gas has to be used, or stored, in order to run the fireplace.
Gas prices are rising everywhere – this is one of the inevitable consequences that come from running out of fossil fuels. Because of this, gas powered devices are much more expensive than they used to be. These fireplaces don’t need gas and are therefore much more affordable.
There are many different types of electrical fireplaces to choose from. Consider a few of the following:
Designed to fit in the smallest spaces, the fireplace stove is close to 17 inches long and is perfect for smaller rooms – and walls for that matter. All that is needed is a relevant electrical outlet.
Can’t decide what area of the room is best for a fireplace? With a convertible fireplace you can alternate from putting on the wall, or in an adjacent corner of the room.
One of the newest kinds of electric fireplaces are one that include an attached entertainment centre. This is great for enjoying a fire and TV at the same time.
Loren Taylor writes for Pro Home Stores which is a leading internet retailer of all things soothing. A large selection of water fountains, bean bags, fireplaces and other products to help bring serenity to your life.