RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

10 Fireplace Safety Tips

December 30, 2015 12:24 am

Fireplaces are one of the most coveted features in homes today—but they can be hazardous if precautions aren’t taken. Whenever you use your fireplace, keep in mind these safety tips, courtesy of the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA):

1. Get an annual chimney check. Have chimneys inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary, by a qualified professional chimney service technician. This reduces the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisonings due to creosote buildup or obstructions in the chimneys. 

2. Keep it clear. Keep tree branches and leaves at least 15 feet away from the top of the chimney. 

3. Install a chimney cap to keep debris and animals out of the chimney. 

4. Choose the right fuel. For burning firewood in wood stoves or fireplaces, choose well-seasoned wood that has been split for a minimum of six months to one year and stored in a covered and elevated location. Never burn Christmas trees, treated wood or wrapping paper in your fireplace or wood stove. 

5. Build it right. Place firewood or fire logs at the rear of the fireplace on a supporting grate. To start the fire, use kindling or a commercial firelighter. Never use flammable liquids. 

6. Keep the hearth area clear. Combustible material too close to the fireplace or to a wood stove could easily catch fire. Keep furniture at least 36 inches away from the hearth. 

7. Use a fireplace screen. Use metal mesh or a screen in front of the fireplace to catch flying sparks that could ignite or burn holes in the carpet or flooring. 

8. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Place detectors throughout the house and check batteries in the spring and fall. When you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time, remember to check your batteries. 

9. Never leave a fire unattended. Before turning in for the evening, be sure that the fire is fully extinguished. Supervise children and pets closely around wood stoves and fireplaces. 

10. Discard ashes in a closed metal container and place it away from the house until they have fully cooled. 

Source: CSIA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Sick of Sky-High Energy Bills? Seal Your Home

December 30, 2015 12:24 am

(BPT)—We’re all inclined to crank the heat up when winter’s chill hits. But many of us are not inclined to look for areas that may be impacting the temperature of our homes—and our budgets.

Drafts and air leaks, for example, can lead to temperature fluctuation and higher than normal heating bills if left unresolved, according to the experts at Icynene (www.icynene.com). Gaps in insulation coverage can also be a major contributor, as well as inefficient performance of HVAC equipment.

Air leakage from walls, windows, ceilings and floors can account for up to 40 percent of the energy lost by your home, potentially costing thousands of dollars annually. Air leakage can also contribute to potential moisture problems that can affect occupant health and the home's durability, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

To reduce drafts and air leakage, have a certified HERS rater assess your home and identify problem areas. He or she can also help evaluate ventilation needs.

Once all sources of air leaks have been detected, apply air sealing techniques and materials. Caulking and weather-stripping are two of the most popular and common techniques that can help address air leaks, as well as high-performance spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation works well in all climates to seal the building and fill every gap to stop air leakage and help reduce the strain on HVAC equipment.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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