There’s a major fire hazard you probably aren’t thinking about—and no it’s not the candle you forgot to blow out before you left for the grocery store. It’s your chimney. Each year, around 9,000 homes have fires that begin in the chimney.
If you don’t have a fireplace or wood stove, don’t think you are exempt. Furnaces also have chimneys that need regular checkups. Oil furnace can cause soot buildups and gas furnaces can create smoke and condensation. It’s important to seasonally keep up on small repairs and do a thorough cleaning when buying a new house.
If you’re unsure of where to start, it’s probably best to hire a chimney company. They will check the following things to ensure a working chimney:
- Ensure lining of the flue is in good shape. The major cause is creosote buildup inside the chimney itself. This is typically done with a remote camera. Simply looking up the chimney isn’t good enough to determine if there’s a problem.
- Check for cracks or loose bricks—cracks can let carbon monoxide leak into the house.
- For a furnace, check the return vent.
- Check for debris that may have accumulated where the furnace enters the chimney.