You already know how important regular chimney cleanings are, but what you may not realize is that what you do in between chimney sweeping sessions will also play a part in your safety. Here are some things you should do in between sweepings to reduce your risk of fire.
1. Empty ashes regularly
Allowing ashes to build up inside your firebox will increase your odds of a fire. Empty ashes weekly by scooping them out into a metal container, then dousing thoroughly with water to ensure all coals are fully extinguished.
2. Scrub the inside of your firebox with a wire brush
After a few burnings, you may notice some buildup along the inside walls of your firebox. If so, gently remove them by scrubbing with a wire brush, then sweep the debris up with a whisk broom and discard it.
3. Avoid using chemicals to clean
When cleaning your fireplace, avoid using harsh chemicals, even on the outer surface of it. Cleaning products can leave behind residue that can not only be flammable, but also harmful to breathe.
4. Burn only approved firewood
Never burn painted wood or treated lumber, as doing so increases your odds of developing creosote. You should also avoid burning plastic, rubber, or any other similar material. Choose only well-seasoned specimens such as oak or maple in order to keep the build-up inside your chimney to a minimum.
In addition to doing these things, you should also keep an eye out for issues such as smoke coming into your room or bits of your chimney liner located inside your clean-out box. These things indicate a more serious problem that should be addressed right away, in which case we invite you to contact Fiddler on the Roof for a more thorough inspection.