that can lead to an unsafe chimney or expensive repairs
Rain Caps and Spark Arrestors
can damage metal fireboxes and dampers on unprotected chimneys.
It can also erode mortar joints, allowing the chimney to leak flue
gases into the home and cause the home to become structurally unsound.
A chimney without a proper spark arrestor may permit airborn embers
to ignite shingles, leaves, trees, or grass. That's why every chimney
needs a chimney cap with a spark arrestor for maximum safety and
spark protection. A stainless steel chimney cap gives lifetime protection
from moisture damage, keeps out critters, and protects against sparks.
Should My Chimney be Cleaned?
Fire Protection Code 211 requires an annual safety inspection of
all chimney systems. Why? Because, in a woodburning system, incomplete
combustion results in unburned residue, which rises in the chimney
as part of the smoke. This residue—called creosote—is
deposited on the inside of the chimney walls, presenting a major
fire hazard to the home. Gas and oil flues should also be checked
on an annual basis for any soot deposits or debris blockage which
could lead to dangerous carbom monoxide poisoning. A chimney professional
can inspect and clean the inside of your chimney to eliminate these
How To Avoid Chimney Fires
is the main cause of chimney fires! Slow smoldering fires and/or
the use of unseasoned wood can create "cool" smoke and
a weak draft. Under these conditions, the smoke condenses and adheres
to the chimney interior, forming highly flammable creosote. A buildup
of creosote is highly combustible and can result in a chimney fire.
To minimize creosote:
only seasoned hardwoods.
dampering down the flue to make your fire burn more slowly.
your chimney professional to clean your chimney regularly.
dos and don'ts
check the manufacturer's operating guidelines for your woodstove
use seasoned hardwood.
use commercial fire starters if you like. They eliminate the need
for tinder and reduce the amount of kindling required.
use charcoal lighter fluid or other flammable liquids. These are
extremly dangerous (gel fire starters are ok).
use coal in a woodstove or fireplace, unless there are specific
written instructions; it will burn, but not safely.
burn artificial logs in a woodstove unless they are specifically
designed for woodstove use.
burn treated lumber, trash, or anything other than wood in your
fireplace or woodstove.