TOP TEN TIPS TO PREVENT CHIMNEY FIRES
1.Have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a professional, and more than that if creosote builds up on your chimney walls more rapidly. Pricing starts at just $95 for this service.
2.Between the professional inspections and cleanings, be sure to check and monitor your wood-burning fireplace for signs of buildup or other problems
3.Your chimney has a cap on the top of it with open sides (usually covered in mesh to keep rain, birds, squirrels, other animals, and debris out). Make sure this cap is regularly inspected and replaced when necessary.
4.Check the interior of your fireplace for creosote buildup. It is flammable, therefore too much buildup is a fire hazard and should be cleaned away with a creosote remover as soon as possible. Watch our video on the effectiveness of Creosote Sweeping Logs Here.
5.Also, watch for soot buildup. Soot is softer than creosote, but is also flammable and should be cleaned up regularly.
6.If possible, burn hardwoods like oak, maple, ash and birch. These woods burn hot and long, are cleaner to handle, and have less pitched and sap. They also tend to leave less creosote buildup but can be more expensive.
7.Any time there is smoke indoors from your fireplace, troubleshoot and immediately correct any problems you find. Possible causes are a dirty chimney, soot or creosote buildup, other debris, a sample that isn’t open or fully opened, or wood not building completely.
8.Consider installing a stainless steel liner that will withstand even the highest temperatures and will keep the embers contained.
9.To improve your fireplace’s efficiency, you should also consider installing heat-proof glass doors to protect against heat loss and a fan or blower to direct heat into the room. The doors can also keep embers from entering the interior of your home. If you do get the glass doors, clean them regularly with a paper towel and glass fireplace door cleaner.
10.Clean the interior of your fireplace, including the floor, regularly. Sweep or vacuum up cold ashes. Wear a dust mask and gloves when cleaning your fireplace.
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