National Fire Prevention Week is Sunday, October 7 through Saturday, October 13. This is a great time to review your fire safety procedures and to make sure that your fireplace and chimney system are running safely and efficiently, and at Old Dominion Chimneys, we’d love to help you do just that.
Annual Inspection and Cleaning
The most important thing you can do every year to help maintain a safe and efficient fire burning experience is to have your chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned on an annual basis. We’ll be looking for several different things, but first and foremost is creosote buildup. Creosote is a natural byproduct of a wood fire, and it can build up on the interior of your fireplace when smoke condenses on the cooler service of your chimney. This usually occurs closer to the top of your chimney. Creosote is extremely flammable at even an eighth of an inch of buildup, so an important preventative step is to have CSIA certified sweeps come in annually to get rid of this buildup.
Damage to the Interior of the Chimney
Another thing our certified professionals will be looking for is damage that may have already happened. You may think that a chimney fire would be an obvious event, causing flames and smoke damage throughout your home. This isn’t usually the case. In fact, the Chimney Safety Institute of America states that most chimney fires actually go unnoticed until you have your chimney inspected. The fact is that a fire needs oxygen to burn, and most chimneys don’t have enough oxygen to keep a chimney fire burning. The danger comes from the damage that goes unnoticed after the chimney fire occurs. If your chimney has been damaged, you are increasing the possibility of dangerous gases entering your home. This may also mean that the mortar of your chimney may be damaged, and this could allow flames to reach through to the combustible wood products in your home.
Fire Safety Tips
National Fire Prevention Week is the ideal time to review some of the safe practices that can help keep your family safe throughout the year. One of the best things to do is to make sure that your family is educated and practiced in following the best escape routes out of your home. Make sure that each person knows more than one way to get out of your home, and practice getting out of the home quickly so that it becomes second nature. Designate a meeting spot outside where everyone can gather so that you know each person is safe and accounted for in the case a fire starts in your home.
If you have any questions or concerns about the safety or upkeep of your fireplace, give Old Dominion Chimneys a call. We can offer tips on fire safety and full service in inspection and cleaning of your fireplace and chimney system.