Tips To Avoid Chimney Fires - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Tips To Avoid Chimney Fires

Even though it's early into the winter season, Mason Fire Chief Kerry Minshall says they have already been on calls for chimney fires.

"We're probably on about our third one this year," Chief Minshall said.

The chief says home owners need to keep an eye on this stuff otherwise known as "Creosote" which can build up in your chimney.

"Creosote is the product of non-combustion or burning wet firewood, not seasoned firewood," said Mason Fire Chief Kerry Minshall.

And when it builds up inside a chimney or in a wood-burning stove it can easily catch on fire.

On Christmas day, the Mason fire department responded to this house fire on Ralph road which they say sparked in the fireplace.

"That fire spread into the side wall, went up into the attic place, so they will be replacing a lot of the roof and attic space."

And until renovations are made the owners will live somewhere for a few months.

Chief Minshall says the solution to avoiding this is simple:

"We recommend that you get them cleaned at least once a year, if you're heavy wood user, more than that, if you have exposed stove pipe, you can kind of give it the old thunk test with your fingernail."

Clean pipes will have a tinier ring to it and one more important warning,about removing the coal and embers after you make a fire.

"These coals can stay live for several days and they will come back to life especially if there is some wind or something to get them stirred up," Chief Minshall said.

The chief recommends you put ashes in a metal container, and taking them outside at least three feet away from your house.

They may seem obvious, but they're steps Minshall says if you don't take can become costly or deadly.

The chief says the best type of wood to use is "aged" fire-wood that's at least 6-months to a year old.

He says aged wood has 60-percent less moisture than fresh, making it easier to start a safe fire.

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