Annual Maintenance Ensures Chimney Safety

The safety guidelines set by the National Fire Protection Association call for professional annual inspections of all wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, chimney connectors, and all other solid-fueled heating equipment. Creosote and soot are natural byproducts of burning fuel, deposited on the inside of your chimney or flue pipe as a solid sticky, black layer that is highly flammable. This needs to be regularly cleaned from your chimney or flue pipe. To reduce build up and use fuel efficiently, keep your fires hot, and provide them with plenty of oxygen. Damping fires to keep them burning longer produces more smoke and solid by-products. On average, your chimney needs to be cleaned after every two cords of wood that are burned. Brushes are used to remove creosote and soot from the firebox, smoke shelf, elbows, and connector pipes. This is done from both outside and inside the house. Occasionally there is creosote buildup that cannot be removed by brushing. Professional chimney sweeps use chemicals to altar the composition of the hardened creosote and turn it into a powdery substance that can be easily removed.

The following safety tips are suggestions which may assist in avoiding chimney fires:

Source: Servpro, 1-800-293-9555