With summer drawing to a close, and the evenings starting to get noticeably cooler in the St. Louis area, you might be tempted to light a fire, rather than put the central heating on. Are you be sure your chimney is clean and ready to light?
From September 9-18, Chimney Fire Safety Week takes place in St. Louis and surrounding areas, providing a timely reminder to make sure that your chimney is ready for the winter months ahead. St. Louis Chimney Co. is supporting this Fire Kills campaign by encouraging householders to ensure their chimney is safe and swept by a registered chimney sweep.
Mike Morris, Safety Prevention Manager explains: “Now the cooler evenings have arrived, people will begin to start using open fires and their chimneys again. In order to keep you and your family safe from fire, you need to take necessary steps such as ensuring your chimney is swept regularly and I would urge all householders to have a working smoke alarm in their home.”
Open fires not only warm up a home, but also create a unique relaxing ambience. With the numbers of people using open fires growing, the Fire Kills campaign has provided some top tips for safer chimneys.
· Always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers
· Make sure embers are properly put out before you go to bed
· Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission released the latest statistics for residential structural fires which indicates that 21,200 hostile fires were attributed to fireplaces, chimneys or chimney systems in 2012, with an average of 22,700 occurring annually from 2010 to 2012. According to the National Fire Protection Association in 2011 heating equipment was involved in an estimated 53,600 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 400 civilian deaths, 1,520 civilian injuries, and $893 million in direct property damage.
“All chimneys and flues should be cleaned and checked to ensure they’re free from debris and in full working order before your central heating goes on. A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisonings so it’s very important to employ a professional qualified Chimney Sweep.” says Mike.