Chimney fires don’t have to happen!
Keep the Fire You Want …
from Starting One You Don’t
Here are some ways to avoid them:
- Have your chimney inspected annually by a qualified professional and cleaned when necessary.
- Use seasoned woods only (dryness is more important than hard wood versus soft wood considerations).
- Build smaller, hotter fires that burn more completely and produce less smoke.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, trash or Christmas trees; these can spark a chimney fire.
- Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures where wood stoves are in use, so you can adjust burning practices as needed.
What to Do if You Have a Chimney Fire
If you realize a chimney fire is occurring, follow these steps:
- Get everyone out of the house, including yourself.
- Call the fire department.
- If you can do so without risk to yourself, these additional steps may help save your home. Remember, however, that homes are replaceable, lives are not:
- Put a chimney fire extinguisher into the fireplace or wood stove.
- Close the glass doors on the fireplace.
- Close the inlets on the wood stove.
- Use a garden hose to spray down the roof (not the chimney) so the fire won’t spread to the rest of the structure.
For more information, visit Chimney Safety Institute of America.