Improper chimney maintenance is a huge cause for fires within the home. If you own a fireplace it is essential to become educated on how to properly care for it. Knowing how to prevent fires from occurring and researching tips on fire safety will help you become a responsible homeowner and will keep you and your family safe during your burning season.
Typical Causes of Chimney Fires
The main cause of a chimney fire will be a dirty chimney. Creosote is a flammable substance that forms within the fireplace after periods of burning. The more creosote builds up, the higher the chance is that a fire will form within the chimney and improper care will cause creosote to build up at a quicker pace. Improper air flow, using unseasoned wood (or other unconventional fuel), and not getting your chimney to a proper temperature before lighting it are all things that build up creosote.
How To Avoid Fires
Follow these guidelines to help prevent a fire from starting in your home.
- Hire a Professional: Having a professional come to clean out your fireplace one or two times a year is essential in keeping your chimney healthy and long-lasting. They will know exactly what and where to clean and can advise you on proper chimney maintenance.
- Burn Appropriately: Be sure you are burning the proper type of fuel in accordance to what type of fireplace you own. In addition to this, make sure any wood that you are using is dry and seasoned properly to ensure the most efficient burning possible.
- Install Smoke Alarms: Making sure all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are set up properly and up-to-code is extremely important when you are using a fireplace. Test them regularly to ensure that the batteries are working, enabling them to warn you of signs of fire within your home. Also, create an escape plan for your family to follow, should any alarms go off.
- Properly Dispose of Ash: Follow proper procedures when taking ash out of your fireplace. Make sure that the ash is completely cooled before removing it and store it in a metal container until you can properly discard it.
- Watch for Flammable Items: It is easy to get in the habit of storing things near or on the fireplace. Be sure that anything flammable is kept away from the fireplace at all times to remove any risk of a fire starting. The same goes for decorations. While it is desirable to decorate around your fireplace – especially during the holidays – make sure all items are a reasonable distance away.
The warmth and inviting atmosphere a fireplace offers does not come without responsibilities on the part of the homeowner. Becoming knowledgeable on proper chimney care and overall fireplace maintenance is very important in maintaining the safety of your home and family. Book an appointment with Wells & Sons Chimney Service today for an inspection and thorough chimney cleaning.