Chimneys require upkeep. A chimney that is dirty, blocked or in disrepair can inhibit proper venting of smoke up the flue, and can also cause a chimney fire. Nearly all residential fires originating in the chimney are preventable but still, chimney fires account for 75% of all heating fires. This means homeowners should actively monitor their chimneys. Homeowners looking to avoid damage to their property and increased premiums should prepare for fires by checking their smoke alarms and updating their emergency plan.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends looking for signs of a pending chimney fire such as a loud cracking and popping noises or dense smoke coming through the fireplace. In honor of National Fire Prevention Week 2018 beginning next week, here are 5 tips to prevent chimney fires.
1. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional once per year.
2. Consider installing a stainless steel liner that will withstand high temperatures and keep embers contained.
3. Watch out for soot build up and keep your fireplace clean! Remember to only sweep cold ashes.
4. If possible, burn hardwoods like oak, maple, ash, and birch. They tend to leave less creosote build up.
5. Anytime there is smoke indoors from your fireplace, troubleshoot and immediately correct the details. Make sure your flue is open and your chimney is clear of any blockage.