Hire a Professional to Clean Your Chimney

Chimney fires are caused by a buildup of soot and other byproducts of wood burning. Have your chimney cleaned before the start of winter. The service may seem expensive (the chimney sweep has to cover the cost of insurance—climbing on your roof can be dangerous), but the cost of a fire is beyond expensive.

Install a Chimney Cap

A chimney cap is a square piece of metal with wire-mesh underneath that prevents animals, leaves, pine needles and even rainwater from entering your chimney and causing problems. Flammable items in your chimney increase the chances of a fire.

Repair Chimney Damage

Your chimney cleaner can identify any damage that should be repaired before the winter burning season begins. Loose bricks or a damaged chimney lining can cause a chimney fire to get out of hand.

Use Appropriate Wood

Soft or green wood gives off creosote, which builds up in the lining of your chimney and causes fires. You should burn hard, seasoned wood that has been split and dried for at least 6 months.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do check with the company that installed your stove or fireplace for proper operation.
  • Do burn properly seasoned wood.
  • Do have your chimney inspected once a year.
  • Don’t use lighter fluid to start fires.
  • Don’t use coal in a woodstove or fireplace.
  • Don’t burn artificial logs in a woodstove unless they’re specifically designed for such use.
  • Don’t burn treated lumber, trash, or anything other than wood in your fireplace or woodstove.