Did you know that there are over 25,000 chimney fires in the United States annually? The good news is that it’s entirely preventable. Check out these tips on how to prevent chimney fires so you can keep your home safe.
Prevent Chimney Fires: First, Call a Professional
The best way to prevent a chimney fire is to hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimney regularly. They’ll be able to spot any potential problems before they become an issue. This service should be completed at least once yearly, preferably in the spring or summer before colder weather arrives. Nothing beats a professional inspection and cleaning in preventing chimney fires, but there are a few things you can do as a homeowner to help keep your fireplace safe this winter.
Watch What You Burn
It’s essential to be mindful of what you’re burning in your fireplace. Only burn seasoned hardwoods, like oak or maple, and avoid softwoods like pine, as they can produce more creosote. Additionally, never burn trash or debris in your fireplace, as this can create an excessive creosote buildup and significantly increase the risk of a chimney fire.
Prevent Chimney Fires: Maintain Your Flue
The flue is located in the center of your chimney, and it’s important to keep it clean and clear while you use your fireplace. Make sure any bird nests or debris are removed from the flue before you light a fire, and check for blockages after each use.
Install a Chimney Cap
Chimney caps prevent animals, debris, and water from entering your chimney. They also help with the draft of your fireplace, preventing smoke and ash from entering your home while burning a fire. If you still need to install a chimney cap, have one put in as soon as possible.
Check Your Smoke Detector
Finally, ensuring your smoke detector is functioning correctly and that you have a carbon monoxide detector installed near your fireplace is vital. This will alert you to dangers like excess smoke or carbon monoxide buildup.
Following these simple tips can help keep your home safe and avoid the risk of a devastating chimney fire. However, the best way to ensure your safety is to have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once yearly. That way, you’ll know that your fireplace is safe and ready for winter.