Chimney fires cause property damage and put lives at risk every year. However, proper chimney maintenance decreases the risk of these fires. Learn how to prevent chimney fires below.

Use the Right Firewood

It’s important to minimize creosote build-up in your chimney, which is often the start of chimney fires. Creosote is a byproduct caused by burning wood. The easiest way to prevent creosote build-up is to use seasoned hardwood. Seasoned woods have been left to dry out for at least 6 months. Test your firewood with a moisture meter before using it. The moisture content of the wood should be below 20%.

Get a Flue Liner to Prevent Chimney Fires

A flue liner is a layer between the chimney walls and the flue. If this area is not insulated, it’s important to insulate it with a flue liner to prevent chimney fires. There are several ways to insulate this area, and not all methods might be appropriate for every home. Hiring a professional to install a flue liner will help to maintain the correct temperature in the flue, which can prevent creosote build-up.

Schedule an Annual Chimney Inspection

Many causes of chimney fires aren’t easy to see. A cracked flue liner isn’t always visible. Scheduling a chimney inspection annually is the best way to stay proactive with your chimney maintenance. The inspector should be certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. A chimney professional can remove soot, creosote, and any other obstructions. Some are qualified to make repairs or can refer you to someone who is.

Install a Chimney Cap to Prevent Chimney Fires

Debris from trees, animal nests, and other items can fall into the chimney. By capping your chimney, you’ll keep debris and nesting animals out. The chimney cap must be installed correctly to work, so hire a professional to install one for you.

These are a few ways to prevent chimney fires. Understanding the importance of regular fireplace and chimney maintenance is a necessary step for home safety. With the proper maintenance and regular chimney inspections, you can enjoy your home’s fireplace with peace of mind.

Reifsteck Home Inspections provides home inspection services to Champaign, Illinois and the surrounding areas. Contact us to schedule an appointment.