The nights are getting cooler, which is a sure sign that before long homes will need a heating source on a regular basis. For many homes, using a fireplace or a woodstove keeps heating costs down, but it is important to do so safely. Each year in the United States there are over 25,000 chimney fires, so use these five steps to avoid experiencing this devastating loss.
- Have your chimney cleaned and inspected. A thorough cleaning will remove creosote from the walls, which is what starts a chimney fire. An inspection will also make sure your chimney is in good working order for the winter ahead.
- Burn seasoned hard wood. Soft wood, or wood that is not thoroughly dried out (which usually takes at least 6 months) will cause creosote to build up much faster. If purchasing your firewood, ask how long it has dried, and inspect it upon delivery. It should have a grey coloring and cracks on the ends.
- Never burn cardboard, wrapping paper, or other miscellaneous paper garbage in your fireplace.
- Make sure leaves and debris are not clogging the grate at the top of the chimney, which can cause excess heat to build up within the chimney.
- Never leave a fire unattended. A chimney fire can be brought under control if a homeowner recognizes what is happening and takes action. When a chimney fire starts when nobody is home, it can easily spread to other areas of the house causing massive destruction.
Using a fireplace or woodstove can keep heating costs down, and create a wonderful ambiance in the home. But it is important to start the season with a clean chimney and follow these steps to prevent chimney fires. Contact Fiddler On The Roof Chimney Service today to get your chimney ready for winter.