As Fall turns to Winter and you think about enjoying your fireplace or wood stove, give some thought to the condition of your chimney before you light those Winter fires. Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires, which damage structures, destroy homes, and injure or kill people.
Ways to Keep the Fire You Want from Starting One You Don't
Chimney fires don't have to happen. Here are some ways to avoid them.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually.
- Use seasoned woods only (dryness is more important than hard wood versus soft wood considerations.)
- Build smaller, hotter fires that burn more completely and produce less smoke.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, trash, or Christmas trees; these can spark a chimney fire.
- Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures where wood stoves are in use, so you can adjust burning practices as needed.
- Bring a picture of your wood stove to a local retailer to ensure proper placement of your stovepipe thermometer, if you have one.
- Inspect and clean catalytic combustors on a regular basis where applicable.
If You Have a Chimney Fire
- Get everyone out of the house, including yourself
- Call 9-1-1