Fireplaces can be lovely, but they can also be a source of deadly fires

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A fireplace can turn from a trusted heat source to ground zero for a house fire. 

In fact, it’s one of the leading causes of house fires in the U.S. and one local chimney sweep is giving advice on what you can do right now to protect your family from fire. 

“A lot of chimney fires happen this time of year because everyone is using wood for their main source of heat,” said Bruce Faria of New England Chimney Sweeps and Masonry Inc. 

People are beginning to use their fireplaces more often now that the weather is cooling off. But before you fire up the woodstove, you need to make sure the chimney is clean first. Faria told 22News that preventative maintenance is super important. 

He explained, “The big thing is though is for people to have their chimneys inspected whether it’s gas, oil, or wood, that should be done every year.” 

Experts also suggest you burn seasoned wood. It burns hotter and that heat helps to keep the chimney clean. A professional chimney sweeper can also spot potential defects in your chimney simply because they have proper equipment. 

Faria uses cameras to inspect inside, “If you have a crack, you have a chimney fire, the tile expands and when it expands, the crack gets bigger and that’s what allows a possible chimney fire to get into the house through that.” 

Another key thing to remember is when you go to start a fire, make sure the flue is open. 

Faria said this time of year they’re very busy, they’re booking out into December. 

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