This is a diagram of a basic masonry wood-burning system.
We perform a visual safety inspection at the time of the cleaning. This inspection consists of looking for safety and maintenance issues related to your system. The masonry system consists of three main elements.
- The firebox
- The smoke chamber
- The flue liner
Firebox is where the fire is confined and they can be made of bricks, concrete, steel and rock.
Damper is designed to open and close. You should open the damper when using the system and close it when you are not using it. A poorly designed damper or damaged one does neither. Check out our high-efficiency damper.
Smoke Chamber is an important part of the aerodynamics of your fireplace system. It is located between the damper and the flue liner. The smoke chamber design is important for the system to work correctly.
Smoke Shelf is an area located behind the damper and it should be cleared of any obstructions.
Fireplace Spark Screening is placed in front of the opening of the firebox. The screening is designed to control sparks from entering the interior of your home. The screening could be mounted to the opening or placed in front.
Fireplace Tools are important when using your fireplace. The most important one is the tongs or log handlers. It is important that you have one available if a log work to roll out of the opening.
Back Wall of the firebox is a critical safety feature for your fireplace system. The main function of the back wall is to increase the airflow into the smoke chamber and protect. This part of the system needs to be maintained at all times.
Flue Liners are made of bricks, terra-cotta tiles, stainless steel and ceramic tile. Flue liners are designed to contain the smoke and heat from the fire to the outside.
Roof flashing is designed to divert water away from the area where the chimney chase and the roof meet. This area needs to be maintained regularly. It is typically a minor maintenance item. Roofing tar is commonly used.
Chimney Crown is at the top of your fireplace system. It is the area located between the flue liner and the outer edge. The Crown or Wash is typically made of mortar or concrete. This area can develop cracks and deteriorate allowing moisture to penetrate the system. This area should be properly sealed with materials designed to handle the hot temperatures, ultraviolet light (UV) and the moisture. We do not recommend using roofing tar.
Chimney Covers and Spark Arresters have many benefits and the number one reason is safety. The chimney cap covers break up the larger fire embers into smaller embers. This reduces the fire danger outside. It also keeps out animals and the rain and prolongs the life of the fireplace. (Zero clearance fireplaces are required to have spark arrestor’s according to the federal government.)
Hearth is often considered the visible elements of the fireplace, with emphasis upon the floor level extension of masonry associated with the fireplace mantel.
As a community service we recommend the following:
Fire extinguishers should be stored in a safe location away from fire sources like a pantry or closet and mounted on the wall. 75% of all fighters start in the kitchen. If your kitchen is on fire and your fire extinguisher is underneath the sink. You can’t get to it because of the fire.
Smoke detectors are a vital part of your family’s safety. So put new batteries in them on a regular basis. New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July.
Fire escape plan it is important that children understand and practice a fire escape plan monthly. Have the child pick a meeting place in case of a fire and let them choose because they will remember it.