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.