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THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU SPARK UP THE LOGS


Before you spark up the logs, take heed that fireplaces and chimneys are involved in 42 percent of all home-heating fires.  So first make sure yours is up to snuff by following these seven safety tips.

  1. Hire a Chimney Sweep-The National Fire Protection Association recommends that chimneys be swept at least once a year at the beginning of the winter to remove soot and debris. Find a certified sweep in your area.
  2. Check for Damage-In addition to cleaning, a chimney sweep should inspect the chimney structure for cracks, loose bricks, or missing mortar.  Chimney liners should also be checked for cracking or deterioration.
  3. Cap the Chimney-A cap fitted with wire-mesh sides covers the top of the chimney and keeps rain, birds, squirrels, and debris from entering.  Place or repair a cap that's missing or damaged.
  4. Burn Seasoned Hardwoods-Choose dense wood, such as oak, that's been split and stored in a high and dry place for at least six months.  Green wood and resinous softwoods like pine produce more creosote, a flammable by-product of combustion that can build up in the chimney.
  5. Don't Overload-Small fires generate less smoke, thus less creosote buildup.  Also, a fire that's too large or too hot can crack the chimney.
  6. Build It Right-Place logs at the rear of the fireplace on a metal grate.  Use kindling, rather than flammable liquids, to start the fire.
  7. Use a Spark Guard-Prevent errant embers from shooting out of the firebox with a mesh metal screen or glass fireplace doors.  A guard in front of an open flame is especially important when the room is unoccupied.

Another part of fire safety is Homeowners Insurance.  It can help to pay for repairs to your chimney in the event of a chimney fire.  It will provide coverage to your home and possessions in the event of fire damage. To learn more about fire safety and homeowners insurance, contact Royal Insurance Agency.

     

    Posted 2:45 PM

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