According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 24,500 residential
fires in the United States originating in chimneys, fireplaces and
solid fuel appliances in 2005. These fires resulted in 20 deaths and $126.1 million in property damage.
“Virtually all of these fires were preventable,” accounts the
Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Along with the National Fire Protection Association, they recommend yearly chimney
inspections to help prevent those hazards.
Recommendations are that you have your chimney professionally cleaned on an annual basis. In addition to not having your chimney cleaned on a regular basis, you should check for fire hazards in your home. These include:
- Potential Electrical Fire Hazards– Do not let trash, dust or spiderwebs build up. Unprotected light-bulbs can be another hazard as they can break.
- Power Delivery– Wiring can age and/or become overloaded. At that point, it is a fire waiting to happen. Don’t turn one plug into multiple plugs either.
- Motor and Power Tools– These can overheat and also cause fire. If they become uncomfortably warm to the touch, stop using them.
- Physical Blocking of Registers, etc– Keep heat registers clear of items. And don’t set anything on top of your wood/pellet stove. Keep items several feet away from open flame.
- Protect your Burners– Keep dishtowels and additional flammable items away from your cooking stove top.
- Unattended Flame– Do not leave candles unattended. Blow them out when going to another room or check on them often. Make sure that fabric, curtains, etc are not in reach of the flame.
At Rich’s for the Home, we have professional chimney sweeps! Visit any of Rich’s five Puget Sound locations to schedule a professional chimney sweep.
For more information about chimney safety, please visit CSIA. The CSIA is located at 2155 Commercial Drive, Plainfield,