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6 Easy Tips to Prevent a Chimney Fire

Here’s a checklist to prepare your chimney and fireplace for the holiday season…to make sure you don’t start any unexpected fires:

1. Hire a Chimney Sweep
Regularly, scheduled maintenance checks and cleanings will help keep your chimney in tip-top shape through the year. It will help you discover and fix problems before they become serious safety issues.

2. Use a Chimney Cap
A chimney cap is an easy, inexpensive way to keep your chimney and fireplace debris- and animal-free. It’s a good “fix it and forget it” solution. Keep in mind, too, that this is not a solution to put in place in lieu of a chimney sweep. While debris and animals can’t get in, insects might still be able to make a home of the area.

3. Repair Any Chimney Damage
This is where a chimney sweep will come in handy! If a problem is located—crumbling mortar, torn lining—these problems need to be fixed immediately so as not to incite a fire that you did not want.

4. Use Appropriate Wood
This is a tricky point that will be explored further at a later time. The type of wood you use in your fireplace is very specific, and it’s not the wood that you use in an outside firepit.

Certain woods, usually softer woods—like pine—and green-treated wood, will give off a certain chemical called creosote when it burns. This will coat your chimney over time, making it easier to ignite as you light more fires. A fire in the chimney itself is never a good thing—burn dense, seasoned wood that has been split and dried for at least six months prior to lighting your fire.

5. Use a Fireplace Screen
A fireplace screen will catch any sparks or flying embers that may come flying into the room. A cacophony of pops and fizzes are a common occurrence, and they often accompany straggling flames.

6. Clear Front of Fireplace
Even with a fireplace screen, those straggling flames can still breach the iron perimeter to land on the outside floor, or anything else close to the fireplace. You can find many beautiful rugs that are flame retardant if you need something right in front of the fireplace. Otherwise, a stone or tile hearth would be just perfect.

Call today to discuss all of your options, schedule a routine milwaukee chimney inspection.




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