Safety tips for fireplaces, wood stoves during cold weather

Hampden County

It’s always nice to warm up by a warm fire on a cold night, but there are steps you need to take before you strike that match. 

Homeowners can prevent fires from fireplaces and wood stoves. First, a little preventive maintenance. 

Prevention is key when it comes to fire safety with fireplaces and wood stoves. So that’s why it’s so important to get annual inspections before regular use.

Regular cleanings done by a chimney sweep are necessary to keep one dangerous chemical from building up.

“Creosote is one of the chemicals that build up,” Mark Galarneau, the Captain of Fire Prevention at the Chicopee Fire Department. “It’s a tarry substance that builds up on the inside of a chimney and eventually can catch on fire.”

Chimney Sweep Bruce Faria told 22News Wood stoves burn more wood when they’re used as a primary heating source, so they should be cleaned every year, while fireplaces can safely go two years. “So what happens with a wood stove is because they’re airtight, they create more smoke,” he explained. “So the more smoke they create, the more creosote they build up.”

Another defense against fires is to make sure the fireplace or stove is properly installed. Faria said it’s extremely important to use a certified service.

When hiring a chimney sweeping service, Faria suggests looking for a certification from the National Chimney Sweep Guild.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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