I know, you all now have chimney sweeps dancing in your heads. For those of you with fireplaces, wood stoves, etc; let it be a reminder to have your chimney inspected this year. What made me want to remind everyone??? Passing by a favorite local coffee shop and seeing fire and emergency personal/equipment out front on my way home from work yesterday. A fire had ignited in the flue of their coffee roaster unbeknownst to the employees and patrons inside. It was reported by a passerby. Thankfully, there were no injuries or damage and they are back open for business today according to Chief Webb (Waynesville's Fire Chief). He added this is a good time of the year to remind people to have their chimney's checked before using them this winter. The full story can be found on The Mountaineer's website.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, approximately 6% of home structure fires start in the chimney. So it is very important to have it checked every year. The Chimney Safety Institute of America is a great resource for safety tips, finding a chimney sweep, and other heat source safety.
For those of us using other sources of heat, it is just as important to ensure proper maintenance, placement, and usage. Overall, close to half of all residential fires during winter months are caused by a heating source. The US Fire Administration and The American Red Cross both provide great resources for families to ensure the safety of their homes during winter months.
With the unusually warm weather recently, it is the perfect time to check out these sites and ensure the proper heating safety of your home. As we all know, in the mountains of North Carolina, if you don't like the weather, wait awhile and it will change. The cold will come. So lets get prepared now, so we can enjoy those cold nights in front of a warm fire!