Chimney maintenance for wood burning appliances.
Chimneys are one of the most common locations of residential structure fires in New
York State. The Chimney Safety Institute of America reports that creosote accumulation is the
leading cause of chimney fires. A chimney that is dirty, blocked or is in disrepair can inhibit proper
venting of smoke up the flue and can also cause a chimney fire. Nearly all residential fires originating in the
chimney are preventable.
An annual chimney inspection by a qualified chimney sweep can prevent fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
To keep your home safe from chimney fires follow these guidelines.
Maintenance - Good maintenance is a very important step in preventing chimney fires!
- Have your chimney checked every year by a qualified chimney professional.
- Burn only well seasoned hardwoods.
- Install a chimney cap.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector.
- Have your chimney sweep ensure that your chimney has an appropriate liner.
- Following a violent storm, earthquake, flood or lightening strike, have your chimney inspected for
damage - inside and out.
Prevention - Remember prevention is your best defense against fire.
If you have a wood or coal stove, be sure it is installed at least 36 inches away from the wall. Keep combustible
materials well away from the stove and chimney connector. Place an approved stove board under
the unit to protect the floor from heat and hot coals which might drop out.
Be Prepared - Know what to do in case of fire. If you suspect a chimney fire, evacuate your home
and call 9-1-1