Prevent Chimney Fires to Promote Home Safety

Chimney fires start in the fireplace and can quickly spread to a roof or an attic. Adopt these useful tips to help prevent chimney fires.

Schedule Regular Roof And Chimney Inspections

Getting periodic roof and chimney inspections helps keep these structures in good shape. House fires sometimes begin due to chimney deterioration. Older homes with brick chimneys can develop masonry problems. A chimney in disrepair can be hazardous because of falling bricks and wildlife gaining access to the chimney. If a bird or a raccoon builds a nest in a chimney, the nesting material is not only flammable, but it can also block the outlet for smoke.

Hire a Chimney Sweep

Experts recommend hiring regular chimney sweep services. Schedule a cleaning in the late summer or early autumn before using the fireplace. Burning wood contributes to flammable, waxy deposits of creosote accumulating on the interior of the chimney. Creosote buildup in your chimney is a fire hazard. Chimney cleaners have specialized tools to clean the interiors of chimneys and help prevent chimney fires.

Use an Ash Bucket to Prevent Chimney Fires

In addition to cleaning the chimney itself, regularly remove burned debris and ash from the fireplace in a fireproof bucket. This prevents the buildup of charred materials and reduces the chance of hot ashes falling out of the fireplace and becoming a fire hazard indoors.

Don’t Burn Papers or Plastics in The Fireplace

Don’t burn newspapers or plastics in the fireplace. Tiny pieces of paper easily float upwards as burning embers. Plastics emit noxious volatile (and potentially dangerous) gases if burned. To prevent chimney fires, use only firewood, logs, or coal in a home fireplace. These materials won’t contribute as readily to airborne flaming embers.

Install a Chimney Cap to Help Prevent Chimney Fires

Install a chimney cap to help prevent fires. A chimney cap keeps twigs, leaves, and other debris out of your chimney and discourages wildlife from nesting there. Your chimney-cleaning service should be able to install the cap for you.

Install a Smoke Detector

A well-maintained, clean chimney helps prevent the spread of heat and flames from the fireplace into the home. Nevertheless, accidents do sometimes occur, and it makes sense to install smoke detectors throughout the home and in the attic. If a fire starts on the roof and spreads into the home, an attic smoke detector will sound a lifesaving warning.

Prevent Chimney Fires and Enjoy Your Fireplace

A fireplace is a great extra source of warmth during the cooler months and it helps you heat your home more efficiently by lowering monthly utility costs. Maintain your chimney to keep your home and family safe.

Longs GCS Corp. Home Inspections provides home inspection services to the lower Hudson Valley. Contact us to request an appointment.