The winter season is just around the corner. Most of our friends and neighbors enjoy a good warm fire to keep them toasty. In some cases, that fire leads to Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue stopping by (with red lights and sirens) because you have had a chimney fire. While we always like to visit with our friends (just not under these circumstances), let's think about a less emergent reason to get together Avoiding a chimney fire is possible!
1. Making sure your fireplace and chimney get a regular cleaning is a must. Avoid using green or unseasoned wood, the moisture and pitch can lead to the build-up of creosote. Creosote is the by-product of combustion and can adhere to the walls of your chimney/stove pipe and can in some cases ignite, causing us to show up, unexpectedly.
2. Burning paper, especially holiday wrapping (high ink content) can cause the creosote in the stack to ignite.
3. If you haven't been to the cabin in a while, it is a good idea to start with a small fire, to see if the "critters" moved into the chimney while it wasn't in use.
4. Ember screening can disintegrate over time and may need replacing, not only for stopping embers from escaping but for keeping the critters out!
5. Pre-packaged fire logs are intended to be used one at a time and they are intended to burn themselves up. Poking them with a poker increases the heat output and dramatically increases the chances of a chimney fire.
6. If you have a chimney fire, do not reuse the fireplace or stove until it gets cleaned and inspected. Fires can loosen connectors, drop creosote onto the ledges, thus creating a more dangerous situation the next time it ignites.
Disclaimer: Working on steep pitched roofs can be dangerous to your health! Eliminating the chimney fire and creating a medical emergency is not our goal. Be safe, when necessary used a trained professional and despite what old-timers say, "Just build a good ripper and that'll take care of the creosote!"
NOT a good idea!
We look forward to seeing you around enjoying our beautiful valley.
Stay Safe, Chief Mick