Chimney Sweep Tips: Chimney Fire Safety
Chimney fires do not have to occur – Don’t let the fire you want cause a fire you can’t control.
Some ways to avoid chimney fires:
- Have your chimney inspected annually by a qualified chimney professional and cleaned when needed. Call us today for service.
- Burn only seasoned (dry) wood; moisture content is more important than hard wood versus soft wood considerations. A moisture content of 20 percent or less is desirable.
- Build smaller, hotter fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, trash or Christmas trees. These materials may ignite a chimney fire.
- Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures when wood stoves are in use, allowing you to adjust burning practices as needed.
- When applicable, inspect and clean catalytic combustors regularly.
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.
In the event of a chimney fire these additional steps may help save your home. Do not risk the safety of you or your family, remember. Homes are replaceable, lives are not:
- Make sure to have a working fire extinguisher accessible when operating a solid fuel appliance or fireplace.
- Close glass doors on the fireplace.
- Close 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.
For more chimney safety tips, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America.