Chimney Sweep

Security for You: Put together your chimney now for a safer winter

Posted: Sep 28, 2020 / 9:10 am EDT
Updated: September 28, 2020 / 9:10 am EDT

When the outside temperatures cool down, you may want to make a fire in the fireplace or turn on the stove to stay warm. However, is your chimney ready to take the heat?

National Chimney Safety Week 2020 runs from September 27th to October 3rd and is designed to educate homeowners about the dangers of fireplaces and give them tips on how to reduce the risk of a chimney fire or carbon monoxide-related health emergency.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) a Between 2015 and 2017, the United States had an average of 17,600 chimney fires annuallyand while this is a marked decrease from previous years, the Chimney Safety Institute of America believes there is still much room for improvement. CSIA’s vision is that every family has a safe, warm home.

The facts about chimney fires

Your chimney – and the chimney that lines it – adds architectural interest to your home, but its real function is to safely move dangerous smoke gases from your fireplace, wood stove, or stove out of your home. When relaxing in front of your fireplace or enjoying the warmth of your wood-burning stove, the last thing you probably think about is the condition of your chimney. However, if you don’t think about it before lighting these winter fires, your enjoyment may be short-lived.

Why?

Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires, damage structures, destroy homes, and injure or kill people. Chimney fire signs have been reported to cause: Loud cracks and pops, lots of thick smoke, and an intense, hot smell Chimney fires can burn explosively – loud and dramatic enough to be detected by neighbors or people passing by. Flames or thick smoke can shoot up from the top of the chimney. Homeowners report being surprised by a low rumble that reminds them of a freight train or a low-flying airplane. However, these are just the chimney fires you know about.

Chimney fires are avoidable. Use only dry, seasoned wood for burning wood.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends checking chimneys annually and cleaning them if necessary. Having a CSIA-certified chimney sweep inspect your chimney before lighting your first fire of the season is the first way to prevent possible damage to your home or even the loss of life from a damaged or clogged chimney.

ESCAPE Fire Safety, with 1,800 CSIA certified chimney sweeps across the US, reminds you that finding one near you has never been easier. Visit www.csia.org/search and enter your zip code into the search tool to find the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep closest to you.

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