Now that winter is here in full force, you can reassume your favorite winter activities! The thrillseekers resume ski, snowboard, or snowshoe on the mountain. Sometimes it’s even fun to just get out and make a snowman, some snow angels, or have a friendly snowball fight. After a long afternoon of fun in the snow, there’s nothing like sitting in front of a crackling fire. Unfortunately, within that mesmerizing flame lies the potential for a dangerous situation: a chimney fire. Luckily, there are some easy defensive moves you can make in order to prevent chimney fires and keep your fireplace safe and running efficiently.

Things You Can Do

How to Avoid a Chimney Fire - Chicago IL - Jiminy ChimneyThere are some things that you can do to help eliminate some of the chances of a chimney fire. One of the easiest things you can do is to pick the right wood to burn. This means hardwood and wood that has been cured properly. Hardwoods such as oak, ash, cherry, or maple will give a good hot burn that will not promote a rapid creosote buildup. Another thing to consider when burning firewood is how long it’s been cured. When wood is cured, it loses its water content, and that’s a good thing. Dry wood will smoke less, and that means less creosote as well.

One thing to avoid is to burn other things in the fireplace. Although it may be tempting to burn cardboard, wrapping paper, newspapers, or waste paper products, this is not a good idea. The colored inks in newspaper inserts or wrapping paper release toxic fumes upon burning. Another issue could be that the paper burns very quickly. Sometimes ‘sheets’ of paper ash float up to the chimney, where they contact the creosote and potentially start a chimney fire.

Have Your Chimney Cleaned by Professionals

The best thing that you can do to avoid a chimney fire has your chimney inspected and cleaned by professional chimney sweeps like the workers at Jiminy Chimney Masonry & Repair. We have trained and qualified workers who recognize creosote buildup and eliminate it from your chimney. Creosote is a sticky black or crusty brown buildup left on the inside of your chimney after fires. It builds up in the chimney no matter what precautions you take, and it is an incredibly flammable material. Creosote removal is a task for professionals, so call us and set up an appointment!