Knowing a few helpful tips on how to prevent chimney fires is part of maintaining a fireplace in your home. Taking the time to do one or two things will allow you safely to enjoy the crackling flames and cozy warmth once the weather turns and the air starts to get cooler. Simple preventive measures like a chimney inspection can help avoid accidents that can harm you and cost a lot of money.
Here are six ways to prevent chimney fires before they endanger your home.
- Schedule a chimney inspection every year
Before lighting up the fireplace during colder months, schedule a chimney inspection to ensure that your chimney is clean and structurally sound. There’s only so much you can see when you look inside your chimney from your fireplace, and a professional team has the right equipment to check for cracks and other damage that can lead to a fire.
- Clean it regularly
There are plenty of companies you can find online that also do chimney cleaning aside from chimney inspection. It’s not a bad idea to get multiple services from a company because aside from their experience, their tools are more efficient in removing the residue like creosote that has accumulated inside your chimney for the past year. Getting rid of this is crucial to preventing a chimney fire. One thing you can do yourself is to make sure to clean out the ash or bits of kindling left inside the firebox on a regular basis.
- Use a proper fire starter
You might have seen it a lot in movies or TV shows, but it’s actually dangerous to use gasoline or kerosene as a fire starter. These substances are highly flammable and can lead to a big fire that can get out of control. Suppose you’re using a fireplace that’s unfamiliar to you like in a rented house or a temporary home. In that case, it might be worth doing a quick chimney inspection and sniff around the area to make sure that others haven’t used these liquids before you arrived.
- Get the right kind of wood and other materials
Using a fireplace means you also need the right kind of kindling. Don’t just use any wood that you see lying around. Take the time to get wood that has been dried for at least six months. If you can find ones that have been dried for longer, the better. This is important because unburned wood can lead to the buildup of creosote inside your chimney walls and make it susceptible to fire. Avoid using treated or painted wood or paper made from glossy material. Just stick to pine cones, twigs or newspapers.
- Protect your chimney using a chimney cap
This will prevent small animals from getting inside your chimney or building a nest that can catch fire. A cap is also useful so debris like leaves and twigs won’t fall inside. In inclement weather, this prevents snow or rain from getting inside the structure.
- Make sure your flue is well-protected
When you schedule a chimney inspection, don’t forget to ask if the flue liner is in good condition. The flue liner protects the walls of the chimney from excessive heat and prevents it from spreading and affecting nearby combustible materials. You can also protect the flue liner itself by insulating it with an insulation mix or blanket.
If you are looking for trusted experts to do your chimney inspection, call our team today at JCS Home Services. We can do a visual inspection or a more thorough chimney inspection using state-of-the-art equipment.