Maintenance and Safety Suggestions

Regardless of whether you burn wood or gas logs, your fireplace requires annual maintenance to ensure safe operation. It is critical that you have a professional perform this service every year. If you fail to maintain a strict maintenance program you are taking the risk of developing a safety and fire hazard in your home.

If you burn wood, Bishop Hearth and Home suggests you contact Coopertown Mastersweep at 901-358-7777. They are a licensed chimney sweep with over 25 years of experience in cleaning and inspecting wood burning fireplaces of all types. (CSIA # 3221). If you burn gas logs in a vented or non-vented fireplace then please call Bishop Hearth and Home for your annual service needs. We can ensure proper drafting as well as detect gas leaks at valves and fittings and replace defective parts.

It is critical that you do the following to ensure safe operation of your wood burning fireplace:

- Read the Owner's Manual prior to using the fireplace for the first time. It is necessary that the builder provide this manual to you. 
- Have the fireplace inspected PRIOR to using the fireplace for the first time. It is critical that the condition of the fireplace system has not been altered or damaged from the original date of installation by other sub-contractors during the building process. Verification of proper clearances to combustible materials like framing, insulation, electrical wiring, plywood sheathing, etc. is a must. Many other subcontractors work around your fireplace & many times fail to adhere to the codes & clearances mandated by our fireplace manufacturers.

Follow directions in your Owner's Manual on how to "cure" or build a fire for the first few times you use your new fireplace.

 - Do not overfire your fireplace. Fireplaces are approved as a decorative fireplace, not a primary source of heat.

- Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned 2 times per year or as recommended by a certified chimney sweep.

- Firebrick and refractories break down over time and should be inspected and replaced as needed.

- DO NOT burn unseasoned wood. This produces higher levels of creosote.

- Check for "false chimneys" around the fireplace openings at the top, bottom and sides of the fireplace where masonry veneer meets the face of the fireplace. These areas must be sealed at all times! It is critical that you inspect these areas on a regular basis.

- Be positive that the hole where the gas line feeds into the fireplace is "sealed" tight with mortar or high-temperature caulk.

- Check around and behind the damper flap to ensure there is no left-over construction debris or trash prior to burning your first fire.