Tag: safety

How To Look After Your Wood Burner?

As you’ve probably been getting the most out of your fire this winter, to maximize its efficiency you have to look after your wood burner.

Here are some things to look out for and do to keep your fire going for many winters!

coalCleaning

Giving your fire a thorough clean can be just the thing it needs to bring it back to life. It is also important to get your chimney swept at least once a year as they can tell you about any damage. You should also clean the glass, most modern stoves are fitted with airways systems to keep the glass clean. If yours does not then you can use newspaper dipped in malt vinegar or use wood ash. Don’t use any abrasive materials to clean the glass as this could cause permanent damage.

Check for rust

This may not be a problem for a modern stove however it worth saying. If you do spot any rust you can rub the area with wire wool and then reapply stove paint to get it looking as good as new.

Empty the ash pan

When the hot ashes start to pile up they can come into contact with the lower side of the grate and the heat from the ashes could cause it to become distorted and lose shape.

Clean the baffle/ throat plate

This area on and around the baffle plate is the top spot for soot to gather. This makes your stove less efficient by blocking the flue it also could be dangerous. Clean this once a week depending on how often you use your stove.

Leave the door ajar

When the stove isn’t being used it is best to leave the door slightly open. This allows a flow of air through the system which can help stop corrosion.

Use Firemizer

Using this in your wood, coal or multi-fuel stove can help reduce creosote and harmful particulates. As well as reducing your ash content and reducing the number of times you have to empty the ash pan.

How to keep your pets safe this winter

It is important to keep your pets safe over winter, as the temperature drops and the chance for snow increases there are things we can do to help our pets.

1. Wrap up before a walk

As you would put a coat on your dog may need one too. Especially if they are fine coated such as a greyhound or staffie.

2. Check their toes

After being outside it is best to check their toes for snow, salt and grit. The snow between their toes can gather together and create ice balls which can be very painful. To help prevent this you can trim the hair between their toes as this can get very long.

3. Fire safety

This time of year the fires will be going and dogs love nothing more than cosying up by the fire. Check out our other blog about keeping your pets fire safe.

4. Keep them warm and dry

Make sure they are dry once inside and have somewhere warm to return to away from cold drafts.

5. Active cats

Your cat may want to stay indoors more over the winter months. If they do like to go outside make sure they have a warm dry shelter outside they can go to or get a microchip cat flap. This will stop other cats from entering your home and allow your cat to come and go as they please.

6. Keeping small pets warm

If you have pets like rabbits, guinea pigs or ferrets that live outdoors think about bringing them indoors in a sheltered area such as a shed or garage. Give them some extra bedding to keep them warm and keep them away from cold drafts.

7. Winter hazards
  • Antifreeze and de-icer used to stop cars from icing up when in contact with pets they can be very toxic. Cats are at the most risk as they like the sweet taste. Make sure you mop up any spills.
  • Salt and grit, this can irritate pets paws, if you salt around your home choose a pet-safe product.
  • Poisonous plants, holly, ivy and poinsettia are all toxic to pets if they eat them.

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