As the weather cools down, it is tempting to light a fire for ambience, warmth and roasting marshmallows. If you have a fireplace, here are some tips to avoid costly fire-related homeowners claims:
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned once a year by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®.
- Keep an eye on the smoke. If it appears dense, have an inspector come check the chimney.
- Listen for popping and crackling in the chimney. Call an inspector if you hear these sounds.
- Watch for build-up of creosote—a brown or black residue that can lead to chimney build up. A build-up of creosote means another call to your chimney inspector.
- Hardwoods like maple, oak, ash or birch have a slow burn rate and leave less creosote, which means you can burn less wood and reduce the residue in your chimney.
- Stick with dry wood that produces less smoke and leaves less residue in your chimney.
- Install a stainless steel liner that can withstand high temperatures and help keep embers contained inside the fireplace.
- Do not use paper or combustible liquids in your home fireplace.
- To keep unwanted elements from coming down the chimney, install a chimney cap.
- When a fire is burning, keep glass doors and the fireplace damper open to ensure a good air supply. Good air supply is a key to prevent a buildup of creosote.
If you have questions about how your homeowners insurance policy would respond if you have a fire in your home, give us a call. We can review your policy with you and offer suggestions that may help.