National Chimney Safety Week
Avoid costly, and potentially deadly, fires in your chimney
Sometimes there is simply no substitute for the warmth and sensory experience of a real wood fire. Along with all of the great gas and electric options available from Leisure Times, we all sell, service, and install wood stoves, fireplaces, and inserts. Now is the time of year to make certain your chimney is clean and structurally sound, to keep your family safely burning wood all winter long. Gas fireplaces will also require regular chimney inspection and maintenance.
The US. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are more than 22,000 known residential damage-causing chimney fires every year. Here are some more facts about chimney fires and chimney safety:
- Chimney fires can reach up to 2,000ºF.
- The leading cause of chimney fires is the buildup of creosote inside the chimney.
- Once a fire ignites within a chimney, it likely will happen again if no remedial attention is given.
- Signs of a chimney fire include cracks in flue tiles or masonry, discolored chimney cap, warped metal of the damper, creosote flakes, etc.
What can you do to stay safe?
Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually by a professional chimney sweep. There are many other steps you can take to guard your home against chimney fire:
- Only burn dry, seasoned wood in your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
- DO NOT burn trash or large pieces of cardboard in your fireplace.
- Inspect your chimney for holes or cracks where sparks or embers can escape.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector near your fireplace or wood-burning stove, and working smoke detectors on every level of your home.
- Use a fireguard in front of your fireplace to protect against hot embers popping into the room.
- Don’t scoop out hot ashes from your fireplace.
- Keep ashes in a metal container at least 10 feet from the home.
- Make sure your fireplace or stove gets sufficient air to allow proper burning.