Every year, there are thousands of house fires that start due to the fireplace or chimney. While not all of them do catastrophic damage, they add up to millions of dollars’ worth of property damage every year. Thankfully, there are numerous ways that homeowners can act to prevent chimney fires at their homes through practicing good fire safety and working with a skilled chimney sweep. Here are some of the ways that you can stop chimney fires at your house before they have the chance to start.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection
While you can see the outside surfaces of your fireplace and chimney, you can’t see what is inside of it without some help. A chimney inspector uses a variety of specialized tools and techniques to thoroughly look through your chimney and fireplace for signs of flammable materials and hazards like yard waste and creosote. At the end of your inspection, you’ll be given a detailed report that shows you exactly what needs to be repaired or cleaned. You should schedule an inspection once a year.
Burn the Right Wood
The wood that you burn has a big impact on how quickly flammable creosote forms in your chimney. When you are choosing wood:
- Only burn dry, seasoned firewood
- Look for hardwoods that will burn slowly and more completely than softer woods
- Use a moisture meter to check the wood and confirm it has 20% or less moisture content
Pay Attention to Fire Size
Fires that are big can get out of control, even if you are using the right wood. In the spring and fall, you should be burning smaller amounts of wood compared to the winter. It is much better to feed the fire more often than to risk having too much wood in the fireplace. When your fire is burning too hot, you might need to close the air intake. While this will make the fire start to smolder, it can also lead to accelerated creosote formation.
Skip Liquid Accelerants
Liquid accelerants can be tempting, as they give your fire a big boost in the beginning. However, using lighter fluid, kerosene, or gasoline can turn your small fire into something that spirals out of control. If you use a fire starter, choose something that is safer and less likely to add excess power to the fire.
Get Your Chimney or Fireplace Fixed Today!
Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional chimney sweep, slate roofing and duct cleaning services designed to keep all your listed properties clean and safe for sellers and buyers. If you are a prospective home buyer or home seller in need of chimney inspection or repairs, we are here to help.