Most house fires related to woodburning heating appliances and chimneys are due to improper installation or maintenance. Consumers are encouraged to have a professional CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep clean and inspect the chimney rather than doing it themselves or hiring an unqualified chimney company.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends annual inspection by a qualified professional chimney sweep.
Creosote accumulates no matter what type of wood is burned. Wood stoves or inserts used for heating purposes should be inspected and cleaned at least twice during the wood-burning season, but some stove manufacturers recommend sweeping the chimney once per month.
Facts about chimney fires:
- All chimney fires can be prevented with proper maintenance.
- Most chimney fires go undetected by the homeowner, with damages to the chimney
found later by a chimney sweep during inspection.
- Fireplaces and flues should be inspected annually by a professional with an internal
camera system. If the sweep does not have this system - use another chimney sweep.
- Woodstove or insert chimneys/flues should be swept at least twice per season and
- The second fire in a chimney can cause more damage than the first fire.
- A chimney should be inspected by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep after a chimney
fire has occurred.
- Chimneys should not be cleaned out by setting an intentional chimney fire.
- Do not use gasoline or other flammable substances to start fires.
- Burn only, dry, seasoned wood in fireplaces or stoves.
- Never burn trash, colored paper, or treated wood, which can be toxic.
Additionally, furnace, boiler, and hot water heater flues should be inspected annually for clogs by debris or nests, or breaks or gaps in the flue liner that could pose a Carbon Monoxide hazard.
Visit the MCSC website at www.mcsc-net.org for free consumer information.
Contact Marge Padgitt, Educational Director of the Midwest Chimney Safety Council at
816-461-3665 or email@example.com for more information.