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Fireplace and chimney safety

Many people turn to the fireplace when the temperature starts dropping. Here's how to keep it safe.

Posted: Nov. 20, 2018 10:55 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - With cold weather settling in, many people are turning to their fireplace to help heat their homes.

However, this is also the time of the year where that can become dangerous.

"Now most chimney fires can be put out easily, but if your chimney has not been inspected, the fire can breach through the walls, get into the walls of your home, and it can be pretty bad."

Norm Loudermilk is the assistant fire chief.

He says the biggest reason chimney fires happen, are because most people don't get their chimney cleaned.

"If you have a fireplace and you're gonna decide to use it this season, you should always clean your fireplace with a professional chimney sweep."

Loudermilk says the difference in temperature causes buildup in the chimney.

"The exterior of the chimney is one temperature, the inside is a different temperature and as smoke goes up, it produces condensation."

And that condensation, paired with a substance called "creosote" can make your chimney dangerous.

So, what can you do to prevent this from happening?

"We ask before every season that you, at least, depending on what type of wood you're burning or what you're doing, that you have your chimney swept."

But that's not the only thing you can do.

"We ask that you use clean wood, dry wood. Don't use wood that's been treated, don't use the starter logs. Those starter logs are made for an open flame."

And by following these simple steps, you and your family will be a little safer, and warmer this cold season.

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