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Heating your home with a wood burning stove can save you a fortune each winter. Unfortunately, wood stoves also increase the risk of house fires tremendously. Do you know what you need to do to avoid chimney fires and prepare to put one out if it should ignite?
Chimney Cleaning and Inspection
Chimney cleaning and inspections must be completed at least once each year. Since your wood burning stove isn't used during the summer months, birds, squirrels and other animals can build their homes in the chimney, so getting a cleaning and inspection at the end of fall just before the stove will be used is typically the best plan.
During the inspection, the chimney will be carefully looked at for cracks and other problems that could cause problems. Identifying these problems helps you get the repairs made before the chimney catches fire.
Chimney Liner Installation
If your chimney is not in the best condition, you can have a chimney liner installed. The liner is a long metal tube wrapped in insulation that protects the inside of the chimney from the heat carried through it. Sometimes these liners are needed to promote optimum air flow and exhaust for your wood burning stove. These liners are designed to withstand high temperatures and can be much easier to clean than a chimney itself, which reduces the chance for chimney fire.
Preparation for Fires
You must be prepared for a fire just in case one were to ignite. Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and fire extinguishing sticks should be kept in your home.
Keep a fire extinguisher in the same room as the wood burning stove, in the general living area of your home and one nearest the door that you will use to access the chimney in an emergency. You must be able to grab an extinguisher in a hurry if the fire should get out of control.
Smoke alarms must be installed throughout the home. Have at least one alarm installed in the same room as the wood burning stove and several more throughout the home.
Fire extinguishing sticks are one thing that many homeowners don't have handy or even know about. These sticks look a lot like emergency flares, but when tossed into the wood burning stove, quickly extinguish the fire. The stick sucks the oxygen out of the fire and reduces the temperature in just minutes. This could help to extinguish a fire that is fueling your chimney fire.
If you are prepared and take all of the necessary preventative steps to avoid a chimney fire, you can burn in your home safely.
Talk to experts like Alpine Fireplaces for more information