Preventing Chimney Fires

19. January, 2015

Chimney fires are one of the leading causes of house fires in the United States with approximately 250,000 fires caused by chimney fires a year. The most common way that a chimney fire can start is creosote buildup. Creosote is a black tarlike substance that builds up on the flue and is highly combustible.

The following are some ways to help prevent chimney fires:

  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year by a professional chimney specialist.
  • Start fire with clean newspaper or dry kindling. You should never use kerosene or gasoline to start your fire.
  • Burn seasoned or dried out wood
  • Never burn cardboard, trash or other debris
  • Have a mesh safety screen around your fireplace.
  • Burn larger logs instead of smaller ones.
  • Burn small fires so they produce less smoke and burn evenly.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Make sure fire is completely out before leaving room or going to bed.
  • Put ashes in a metal container.
  • Check your smoke and carbon monoxide monitors to make sure they are working properly.

THD cares about your safety and well-being. If you believe you are having a chimney fire quickly move outside away from your house and call 911.