Keeping a chimney clean and clear of debris is important to the safety of your family.
Free loaner program. To help district residents keep their chimneys and/or stovepipes clean and free of debris, McKenzie Fire & Rescue provides a Chimney Brush Lending Program. Brushes in multiple sizes and rods are available for loan at no charge at the Leaburg Fire Station during normal business hours.
Chimneys release particles from fireplaces and woodstoves, which can develop into deposits that can cause dangerous chimney fires. Over time, soot from smoke and other particles build up on the walls of your chimney. Collections of soot can clog your chimney and prevent smoke and soot from leaving your home.
A chimney’s function is to pull fumes from the system and thus needs a required amount of air for the system to operate properly. Soot and clay over time will generally fill the area that connects to the horizontal pipe. It is important to maintain the ventilation of your chimney so that dangerous gases do not spill back into your home and for your system to work at peak efficiency.
Chimneys and fireplaces need to be inspected annually
In its recent study, the National Fire Protection Association found the No. 1 cause of home heating fires was failure to clean creosote from, primarily, chimneys.
Creosote is the by-product of wood burning, and it can stick to the inside of chimneys. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, creosote is highly combustible and it can build up in the flue. Once there, if it lights, it can cause a chimney fire.
- If you are the new owner of a home, be sure to get an inspection so that you know the condition of your chimney.
- Avoid putting too much wood in the fireplace. If you have a zero-clearance fireplace, it may get too hot.
- Follow the 3-foot rule when it comes to fireplaces – keep kids, pets and flammable items at least 3-feet from the fire.
- Dispose of old ashes, even if you believe they’re cooled, at least 10 feet from the house.
- Keep portable heaters at least 3-feet from kids, pets and beds, also.
- Even if you have a gas-powered fireplace, there’s a danger: carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your home is well ventilated and put a carbon monoxide monitor in the hallway of sleeping areas in the home.
- Do not to use alternative ways to heat a home. Victims have been treated after someone placed an active barbecue too close to an open door. The home pulled in the fumes and made the people inside sick.