If you live in an older home with a rarely used fireplace, you will want to know for certain that it, along with its attached chimney, is working correctly and safely before lighting the first fire of the winter. This is why it is so important to schedule a professional fireplace and chimney inspection every fall. Your older fireplace may even not be up to the current building and safety codes. At Bart Fireside, we always stress safety first when it comes to maintaining your fireplace, and an older fireplace that is out of modern codes could lead to hazardous situations such as a chimney fire or a carbon monoxide leak. Over the years, fire safety experts update building codes due to research and technology, and it is important to ensure your fireplace meets the most current codes. We would like to share with you some information from The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning modern building codes for fireplaces that can help you know whether or not your fireplace needs to be updated before this winter.
Critical Updates to Building Codes Regarding Fireplaces
- The fireplace or other type of heating appliance, the chimney, and all combustible materials should have the proper amount of clearance spaces between them to prevent a residential fire.
- Any floors constructed from combustible materials should be fully and properly protected.
- The fireplace or other type of heating appliance should have every one of its components properly assembled and installed.
- The fireplace or other type of heating appliance must undergo a test for any possible errors after it has been installed. The chimney should also be included in testing. Certain errors may not be noticeable; however, the trained professionals from Bart Fireside will be able to find anything that is possibly wrong.
Critical Updates to Building Codes Regarding Venting Systems
To ensure the chimney or other venting system will work properly and safely with your fireplace or other heating appliance, the following updated building codes should be considered:
- The chimney or other venting system should meet all height requirements.
- The chimney should be lined for the protection of your home from combustibles and the corrosive byproducts of combustion. Many older chimneys were not constructed with a liner, and this completely fails to meet modern building codes.
Be sure your older fireplace meets all current building codes. Contact Bart Fireside to learn more about updating your fireplace.