It’s Wintertime! And nothing’s better than cozying up in front of the fire with your loved ones to hide from the cold. But before you light that fire, it’s important to make sure you have performed the proper maintenance to avoid any accidents. The experts at Cummins Restorations have put together a list of our top tips to avoid winter chimney fires so you can safely enjoy those crackling embers.
1. Make sure to have a professional inspect and clean your chimney at least once per year. In between these professional inspections, and especially before your first use in the Winter, make time to inspect and clean any soot or creosote that may have built up. Be especially cautious of third stage creosote glaze, which will look like sticky tar or a hard glaze inside the chimney and should be cleaned by a professional!
2. Be sure to inspect for any debris in or on the chimney cap before lighting the fire. Leaves and other debris can prevent smoke from properly exiting the chimney, thus leading to accidents. If you notice smoke entering your home, immediately stop the fire and check for potential causes.
3. Only burn cut and properly dried firewood; ideally a hardwood that has been stacked and cured for a minimum of 6 months to a year. Some great hardwood options – such as maple, birch, and oak – burn hotter, longer, and leave less creosote build up behind.
4. Take preventative measures! Look into installing a stainless steel liner in the chimney that is able to handle the high heat produced from the flames. Heat-proof glass doors are also a great option for preventing embers from accidentally entering your home.
5. Lastly, and MOST importantly, never leave a fire unattended. Being nearby and alert will help prevent any accidents, ensuring the fire is always under control, and will allow you to enjoy it’s warmth!
Make sure you are aware of some of the common warning signs that a fire is occurring in your chimney, which includes extremely loud popping noises, thick smoke, and a strong scent. If you notice any potential hazards, don’t hesitate to call a professional.
Fires are a wonderful and warm experience to enjoy – but they can pose a danger if precautions are not taken. To make the most of your fire this winter, follow our top tips for avoiding winter chimney fires.