Chimney Check Up
Whether you’re ready to believe it or not, winter is right around the corner. ❄️ ⛄️ While we’ve tried to put this thought to the back of our minds, an email from one of our insurance agents reminded us that preparation is key. Their information was spot on, so we wanted to share their helpful tips with you, too.
Cozying up to a warm fire on the first really cold night of the season is a pleasant image, but the picture could be spoiled by a fireplace that hasn’t been properly maintained. To make sure your fireplace works properly and safely all winter, consider following this advice from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Clean the Chimney
The NFPA says that most uncontrolled fires linked to fireplaces involve a failure to keep the units clean. Hire a certified chimney sweep to check your fireplace and have it cleaned according to the schedule recommended.
Burn Seasoned Wood
A build-up of creosote, a flammable chemical produced by burning wood, is the main cause of more than one-fourth of uncontrolled chimney fires, according to the NFPA. To avoid creosote build-up, use properly seasoned wood. Dry, older wood has low levels of creosote, while fresher, wetter woods contain high levels.
Use kindling and newspaper to ignite fires, not flammable liquids such as lighter fluid or kerosene.
Shield the Room
Use a sturdy fireplace screen large enough to shield your living area from flying embers. Keep all flammable materials at least three feet from the fireplace. Have a fire extinguisher nearby.
If you have a gas fireplace, make sure you have a carbon monoxide monitor in your house. Learn more about carbon monoxide hazards.
Allow ashes to cool completely before disposal. Collect and store in a tightly covered metal container at least 10 feet from your home. After collecting and disposing ashes, douse them with water.
If you need the name of a good chimney sweep, or have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’ve put together a curated list of excellent local service agents that we’d be happy to refer you to.