Before you cozy up next to the fireplace this fall, make sure your chimney is in top condition. Fireplaces are designed to expel the byproducts of combustion which include smoke, water vapor, soot, gases, etc. Condensation occurs as these materials flow up into the chimney, which creates a residue known as creosote. This substance is extremely combustible, so it's critical to eliminate build-up regularly. Follow these fire safety tips to help prevent a chimney fire in your home:
1. Regular maintenance.
The best thing to do to prevent a chimney fire in your home is to have a professional chimney sweep conduct an annual cleaning and inspection. This will eliminate the creosote that has accumulated over the year, decreasing the risk of a chimney fire.
2. Use seasoned wood.
Make sure to always use dry, seasoned wood when starting a fire. This will help your fireplace burn cleaner as opposed to green or wet wood that creates more smoke, odor, and increases creosote.
3. Build small fires.
Smaller fires do not create as much creosote as large fires since they produce less smoke and soot. They are also much easier to control if they happen to get out of hand.
4. Utilize a chimney liner.
A chimney liner is a clay, ceramic, or metal channel fixed to the inside of a chimney designed to contain and direct combustible products and protect the chimney walls from intense heat and corrosion.
5. Install a chimney cap.
A chimney cap is a cage-like structure that covers your chimney on the outside. This will keep animals away as well as leaves and other debris from entering your chimney and starting a fire.
6. Maintain adequate air supply.
It's important to make sure that there is a constant flow of air while your fire is burning, as restricted air supply can increase creosote accumulation. Keeping your fireplace damper completely open will keep the air flowing steadily.
We understand how overwhelming fire damage can be, especially when it's combined with water, soot, and smoke damage that follows. If you have experienced a fire in your home, our fire damage specialists are ready to help. Call our 24-hour emergency service number at 877-636-6537 or visit us online for more information.