Reducing risk of chimney fire for this winter season


Many of us are starting to turn the heat on at home, and for some, it’s not as simple as flipping on a switch.

Those who heat their home via a wood burning source should have their chimney inspected and swept on an annual basis.

If not, your romantic evening in by the fireplace could become a frightening experience.

“Heating fires represent a good portion of many fire departments calls,” said Prescott Nadeau, Senior Firefighter with the Williston Fire Department. “Especially, this time of year. This is when people are first starting up their wood stove or their fireplace.”     

According to The Chimney Safety Institue of America, there are more than 25,000 chimney fires every year.

Of those, they cost more than $120 million in property damage.

Jake Loeffler, owner of Brickliners in Williston says, it costs around $300 to have a certified professional service your chimney.

According to Loeffler, that includes doing an inspection as well, “your liner could be cracked, things happen over time, it’s not something you can just forget about.”

As for those who burn ‘cleaning logs’ as a way to remove creosote, don’t.

“All they do is condition the creosote, they don’t remove it. You need to have somebody mechanically remove the creosote from your chimney,” Loeffler said.

By removing the creosote, you will largely reduce the threat of a chimney fire this winter.

If you did encounter a chimney fire, Senior Firefighter Nadeau had this to say, “our recommendation is if you can, in a safe manner extinguish the fire in the wood stove or fireplace. Then evacuate from the building.” 

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