Colder temperatures are here which means many of us will begin using our fireplaces. There’s nothing more relaxing than settling in front of a warm fire with a good book on a chilly fall night. Before you light your first fire for the season, however, you should have your fireplace inspected. A proper inspection will identify potential defects, as well creosote buildup.
Creosote is a black residue that travels up the chimney and builds up on the flue every time you light a fire. Many consider a creosote fire in the chimney one of the most dangerous because it can spread quickly, severely damaging or destroying your entire home within minutes.
DID YOU KNOW?
33% of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances as the primary heat sources in their homes.
Heating fires account for 36% of all residential fires every year.
On average, 4,000 of the residential fires every year are caused by wood burning stoves.
Fireplaces and chimneys cause an average of 25,000 residential fires every year.
5pm - 9pm is the time when 30% of residential heating fires happen. Only 3% happen between 3am - 5am.
Here are tips to prevent residential fires:
1. Never use flammable liquids to start a fire
2. Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrestor
3. Have your chimney inspected every year
4. Never leave fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
5. Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.
6. Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke
7. Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
8. Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.