There’s nothing more beautiful, warm and inviting than a wood burning fireplace. It’s frequently featured in family pictures and is often the center of attention in a home. That’s because a wood burning fireplace is special. Some enjoy watching the flames and listening to the crackles of the burning wood. Others enjoy tending to the fire, often picking up the poker to adjust the log by an inch. Children often lay in front of the fireplace to feel its warmth.
As much attention as we give a fireplace, it’s critical to place the same amount of devotion to the care of wood burning fireplaces. On our website, we report on chimney fires. Our intention is to educate and prevent fires, injury and damage to your family and home. In the month of December, there were over 70 fires reported in the online news, a few were right here in Park Ridge, Deer Park and Libertyville.
Common Cause & Prevention of Chimney Fires
Last article or post, we (and Santa) talked about keeping holiday wrappings and the Christmas tree away from the fireplace as they both are highly flammable. We’ve also talked about the build-up of creosote for good reason. It’s the most common cause of chimney fires. So, how can you keep the build-up of creosote to a minimum? Here are a few tips:
- Have Superior Chimney clean and check your fireplace and chimney each year
- Keep the damper open to allow proper airflow
- Minimize the amount of wood burning in the firebox at one time
- Use seasoned wood, as it removes moisture allowing for a better and safer burn
What are the Signs of a Chimney on Fire?
Superior Chimney is often asked, “How do I know if my chimney is on fire?” This is a great question. If you know what to listen…look…or smell for, that can help.
- Listen: the fireplace can have a loud crackling sound or a popping sound. It may even sound like a freight train or an airplane.
- Look: the chimney can have flames shooting out from the top, or lots of dense smoke entering your home.
- Smell: the fireplace can have a hot intense smoky, bad smell.
It’s true that the article talked about prevention before the signs of a fire, and it’s for a good reason. Superior Chimney wants you to get the most enjoyment from your wood burning fireplace in the safest way possible. So if you haven’t cleaned your fireplace and chimney yet, now’s the time to get it done so you can ring in the New Year with family and friends by the fireplace…safely.