Chimney Fires – Don’t Let it Happen to You

December 2, 2016
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Firewood Delivery - Avoid Chimney FiresIt’s that time of year! All of your neighbors are calling and placing orders online for firewood delivery in northern Virginia. Of course we’re happy to send you the perfectly seasoned, neatly stacked firewood you expect.

But you have to be safe with it.

The first chimney fire in northern Virginia of the season was reported last week, and every year we see them happen to families across the area. What’s such a shame is that these fires are often preventable!

Chimney fires don’t need to happen.

There are some simple steps you can take to make sure your fireplace and chimney are safe to use in your home.

Our friends over at the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association have put together some guidelines for making sure your fireplace is safe to use and will avoid the danger of chimney fires.  You can get the entire fire safety report here.

Here are the highlights:

  • Have the chimney inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary, by a professional chimney sweep to ensure it’s clear of obstructions and
  • Have a cap installed at the top of the chimney to avoid the possibility that debris or animals can block the chimney.
  • Install both a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. (Make sure the batteries work.)
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Whether you have an indoor or outdoor fireplace on a patio, make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of furniture, books, newspapers and other potentially flammable materials. (Two feet away is the minimum.)

Although sells firewood online, natural wood burning fireplaces are not the only place danger may lurk this time of year. Gas fireplaces are also very common in houses across the area.

As with wood burning fireplaces, there are some precautions you should take with gas fed fireplaces too. When a service tech comes out to service your gas fireplace, here are the things they should inspect and adjust as needed:

  • Adjust millivolt output
  • Clean and adjust the glowing embers and logs for best appearance.
  • Clean the fan and related air circulation passages.
  • Clean the glass.
  • Check the batteries in the carbon monoxide detector.
  • Ensure the vents are unobstructed and able to do their job.

These common sense precautions will help avoid tragedy and make your winter season happy and warm!

Don’t forget to stock up on wood now – supplies will run low before long. Get a half cord of wood delivered so you have it for Christmas (Santa likes a nice warm fire, chimney climbing notwithstanding.)