Don’t Let Your Holiday Fire Turn Into a Holiday House Fire

Mike Nelson
Mike Nelson
                                         Ann Triling, 2010

During this time of year people love to enjoy a cozy fire in their fireplace which is a good reason to discuss the dangers of chimney fires.  According to Chimney Safety Institute of America, here are some ways to avoid chimney fires.   Use seasoned woods only (dryness is more important than hard wood versus soft wood considerations.  Build smaller, hotter fires that burn more completely and produce less smoke.  Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, trash, pine or any other wood that contains sap; these can spark a chimney fire.

Chimney Safety Institute of America’s recommendation of what to do if you have a chimney fire:

If you realize a chimney fire is occurring, follow these steps:

– Get everyone out of the house, including yourself.

– Call the fire department.  If you can do so without risk to yourself, these additional steps may help save your home. Remember, however, that homes are replaceable, lives are not.

– Put a chimney fire extinguisher into the fireplace or wood stove.  Close the glass doors on the fireplace.  Close the inlets on the wood stove.  Use a garden hose to spray down the roof (not the chimney) so the fire won’t spread to the rest of the structure.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having the chimney inspected and cleaned once a year.  Before the first fire in the fall is usually the best time to have this completed.

Blog Post by John Durham

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