A cozy fireplace is a fantastic addition to any home, as it provides warmth and comfort during chillier months. Yet, while fireplaces have a lot of benefits, they can also be a potential hazard if not properly cared for. You need to know the risks of chimneys, how to keep yours safe, and when to call a local chimney cleaning company for help. Here are four tips for protecting your property by preventing chimney fires.

1. Choose the Right Wood

Did you know the type of wood you burn in your fireplace can significantly reduce or increase the risk of chimney fires? We’ve seen that seasoned hardwoods are the best for fireplaces as they deliver a long-lasting cozy fire with less ashing and creosote than softwoods. Creosote is the charcoal tar that is a byproduct of wood burning which collects in chimneys. When burning firewood, avoid allowing a slow smoldering to go for too long as this can also lead to excess creosote build-up.

2. Install a Chimney Cap

Proper ventilation is critical for preventing chimney fires since if smoke and flames don’t know where to go, they’ll go into your home. All household fireplaces should thus be equipped with a well-functioning damper and a chimney cap. Chimney caps are the devices that sit at the very top of the chimney. They prevent birds and debris from entering the chimney and blocking the upward ventilation. Chimney caps are also useful in preventing excessive moisture build-up which can lead to undesirable creosote buildup.

3. Seek Routine Inspections and Cleaning

Finally, even if you use the right firewood, implement the best burning techniques, and properly install a quality damper and chimney cap, it is still important to have a professional local chimney cleaning company come and inspect the fireplace and chimney. According to Bob Vila, every year in the United States there are more than 25,000 chimney fires, costing homeowners more than $125 million in property damage. Chimney fires can be avoided with regular inspections and cleanings of creosote, debris, and other blockages that commonly result in a chimney fire.

Owning a chimney and making proper use of it is a rewarding experience for any homeowner. However, chimney fires can occur if you aren’t careful. Give Swept Away Inc a call today for more information about proper chimney and fireplace care or to schedule your chimney cleaning with us!

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