SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WWLP) – As temperatures decrease, the likelihood of chimney fires becomes greater.

According to Mass.gov, about 36 inches of clearance around the appliance is recommended to avoid surrounding items from becoming heated. Before the stove is used, a qualified mason is to inspect the chimney and flue for any cracks. If there are any cracks, flames and heated gases can rise. Solid field heating applies aren’t similar to chimney flues used by other solid fuel, fossil fuel, or gas fire appliances.

“Remember to have your chimney cleaned each year by a professional, clean out the firebox regularly and burn clean hardwoods to minizines the risk of a chimney fire,” says Southwick Fire Department. The Southwick Fire Department recently trained on the proper techniques for putting out a chimney fire. A new training wood burning stove with flues and dampers prop was installed.

Why chimney fires will occur?

Mass.gov indicates that most chimney fires result from the build-up of creosote. It is necessary to have your chimney flue cleaned before each heating season.

Other prevention fire tips Mass.gov indicates:

  • Don’t use flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Never leave children unattended near the stove.
  • Check that the damper is open before lighting the fire.
  • Use a fireplace screen to prevent flying sparks and embers from falling out onto the floor.
  • Install and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms to provide protection for your family.
  • To prevent fires, ashes that are cleaned out from the stove or fireplace should be shoveled into a metal bucket with a metal lid and placed outside on the ground away from the building.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to warn of both fire and deadly fumes from a faulty furnace, fireplace, oven flue, or other venting problem.