As the weather gets colder and we edge towards Christmas, many of us think about lighting the open fire. But this comes with many risks – including the dreaded chimney fire, which can damage structures, destroy homes and even injure or kill people. Make sure you have home insurance in place, so you’re covered should disaster strike.
There’s lots of information online about how to lower your chances of having a chimney fire, but these top tips are a good place to start:
Keep your chimney clean
The biggest culprit of chimney fires is a dirty chimney. Old, dry soot and other debris that have built up inside your chimney provide an ideal source of fuel for flying sparks. So should your roaring fire spit a smoldering piece of wood up into the chimney, it won’t take much to ignite. That’s why it’s important to get it swept regularly.
Use woods that have been properly prepared
It’s more important that your wood is dry, than the type of wood you burn. This may mean you don’t always get to burn what makes your fire smell the nicest, but that’s better than increasing your risk of a chimney fire. You can also browse home insurance quotes online to make sure you’re covered in the event of one happening to you.
Build smaller fires
You may or may not know that smaller fires actually burn hotter – giving you the same warmth as a (more dangerous) larger one. That’s because they burn more completely. What’s more, they produce less smoke, which means less chance of flaming bits of debris being thrown up into your chimney where they could catch fire.
Only burn wood and coal
Never be tempted to put things like cardboard boxes, paper, rubbish or Christmas trees on your fire. They’re not intended to be burnt indoors and are much more likely to spark a chimney fire. It’s still worth checking out house and buildings insurance quotes, so that you’re covered should the worst happen.