In the heart of winter many people start using their fireplace for additional heat. There is nothing better than a warm fire to sit by on a cold winter night.
But before you use that fireplace you may want to have it cleaned and checked by a certified chimney sweep. By doing so you can avoid a chimney fire that could put a damper on that relaxing moment by the warm fire.
Recent statistics show that there are about 25,000 chimney fire in the U.S. each year. These fires result in nearly 125 million dollars of property damage. Most if not all of these fires could be prevented.
Creosote build up in chimneys or flue pipes is the most common cause of chimney fires. In addition a damaged or broken chimney can result in fires as well. Regular cleaning and inspection of the chimney can prevent these fires.
Creosote builds up when the temperature of the chimney falls below 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Creosote is a black sticky substance that will stick to the sides of the chimney. Then later, when the conditions are just right, creosote will ignite creating a hot fire within the lining of the chimney.
Signs of a chimney fire:
- Unusual hot smell around the fireplace or stove.
- Loud crackling sound.
- Dense smoke coming from chimney.
- Loud roaring sound coming from the fireplace.
If you notice any of these signs you should evacuate the home and call the fire department immediately.
Preventing chimney fires can be as simple as having the chimney cleaned and inspected annually. If you use your fireplace on a frequent basis you may want to consider having it cleaned more often.
A fireplace can create a warm relaxing atmosphere in your home. But if it is not maintained properly it can result in a major tragedy for your family.
Be on guard, keep awake.