With chilly temperatures outside, many of us are happy to spend our holiday season surrounded by family and friends sitting in front of a crackling fire. However, chimneys and fires can also be inviting to two very unwanted guests – wild animals and pets.
Keeping animals out of the chimney and pets away from the fireplace is an important part of safely operating your fireplace system. The following tips can help make sure you don’t spend your holiday with some unwelcome furry guests, as well as keep the four legged members of your family safe from harm.
Keeping wild animals out of the chimney
The primary way that wild animals enter a chimney is through a missing or damaged chimney cap. Without a working chimney cap, the top of the flue is not only vulnerable to animal entry, but also debris and moisture.
One of the best ways to ensure that your chimney cap keeps animals out all year long is by having an annual chimney sweeping and inspection. This preventative maintenance not only keeps your fireplace operating safely, but also checks the chimney – including the chimney cap – for signs of damage.
If wild animals have taken have taken up residence in your chimney, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you light a fire to “smoke them out”. Doing this can disorient or injure the animals, making it even more difficult for them to escape. Instead, call a local wildlife rescue service to safely and humanely remove the animals.
Keeping pets safe around the fireplace
No matter what kind of heating appliance you have, they can pose a danger to pets whose curiosity leads them too close. The following tips will help you keep your pets safe around your fireplace this holiday season.
– Use a fireplace screen. Fireplace screens are both decorative and functional. They can allow you still enjoy the warmth of the fire while keeping pets – and small children – away from the flames.
– Move beds or toys. While putting a pet bed in front of the fire might seem like a great way to keep them warm, it can actually put them in harm’s way. Instead, follow the same rule for pet possessions as you do for home décor – keep a clear space of at least three feet around the fireplace.
– Do not leave the fire unsupervised. Oftentimes, the best way to protect your pet from a fire is to keep a watchful eye on them while your fireplace is in use. By staying close to the fire, you can scold or shoo away any pets that wander too close to the flames.
Taking the steps to protect your chimney and fireplace can ensure that everyone in your family – even the four legged members – enjoy a safe and happy holiday season. If you have concerns about animal entry or safety for your chimney system, contact the experts at Coopertown Services today at 901-358-7777. Our staff have more than 35 years of experience dealing with animals and wildlife and are certified by both the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency and the National Wildlife Control Operators Association to deal with nuisance wild animal removal.