Nothing lifts the spirits and makes a person feel like all is right in the world than the warmth and soft crackling coming from a fire in the hearth. However, along with the joys of having a fireplace comes the responsibility of proper maintenance.
According to Northeastern Chimney, chimney fires occur at an alarming rate in America. Over 25,000 chimney fires account for over 120 million dollars in damage to homes every year. The good news is, these disasters are usually preventable.
To prevent chimney fires, one must first understand why they occur in the first place. When you burn wood, it releases a by-product called creosote that coats the inside of your chimney. Wet wood releases much more creosote than dry wood. This is why experts recommend only burning wood that’s been seasoned for at least eight months or using a premium product like kiln-dried firewood to fuel your fires. Even with dry wood though, you will still accumulate creosote buildup in your chimney.
A simple solution to this is to have a professional chimney sweep inspect and clean your chimney every year. Another option is the chimney sweeping log, which many wood-burning enthusiasts swear by. This log is infused with special chemicals that breakdown harmful creosote deposits, which will then crumble and fall into your fireplace.
Some people believe that these chimney sweeping logs can do more harm than good. If the chimney hasn’t been inspected or cleaned by a professional, chemicals from the chimney sweeping log can loosen large chunks of creosote buildup into the live fire, causing dangerous flair-ups.
A simple way to prevent this is to use chimney sweeping logs only in addition to the services of a chimney sweep. We would never recommend using a chimney sweeping log to replace the expertise of a professional. In addition to this, there are a few more things you can do to prevent a house fire.
Winter Safety Tips
- Make sure your smoke detectors are on and working correctly.
- Have working fire extinguishers on hand throughout your house.
- Never leave a fire burning when you go to bed.
- Leave the chimney sweeping to the professionals.
We hope these tips help you have a lovely winter, accompanied by the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing your home and family are safe.