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November 21, 2019

Scary Secret In An Old Fireplace

A fireplace is an architectural structure that is made to contain a fire. Fireplaces are used at the present time mostly for the relaxing ambiance they create. Historically they were used for the practical purposes of heating, cooking, and heating water for laundry and domestic uses.

A fire is contained in a firebox or fire pit; a chimney or other flues are built to allow exhaust to escape. A fireplace may have: a foundation; a hearth; a firebox; a mantelpiece; a chimney crane, used in kitchen and laundry fireplaces; a grate; a lintel; a lintel bar; over mantel; a damper; a smoke chamber; a throat; a flue.

On the exterior there is often a corbeled brick crown; the projecting courses of brick act as a drip course to keep rainwater from running down the exterior walls. A cap, hood, or shroud serves to keep rainwater out of the exterior of the chimney; rain in the chimney is a much greater problem in chimneys lined with impervious flue tiles or metal liners than with the traditional masonry chimney, which soaks up all but the most violent rain. Some chimneys have a spark arrestor incorporated into the crown or cap.

Fireplaces have variable heat efficiency. Organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington Department of Ecology warn that, according to various studies, fireplaces can pose a significant health risk.

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