MONROE, Conn., -- Stepney Volunteer Fire Department, Monroe Volunteer Fire Department, No.1 Inc. and Stevenson Volunteer Fire Company are warning of the danger of chimney fires after responding to just such a blaze on Pepper Street in Monroe on Tuesday.
Chimney fires are caused by a coating of black-colored "creosote" tar, which is a by-product of un-burnt fuel. Creosote sticks to the inside of the chimney flue and when left uncleaned, it builds up, and can ignite, firefighters said.
Firefighters recommend following some tips on preventing a chimney fire:
- Only burn seasoned or dried out wood: Wood that is completely dry will sound hollow when hit against another piece of wood, it will be dark in color and may have cracks in the ends. It takes about 6 months for wood to be ready to burn.
- Start fires with clean newspaper or dry kindling – Gasoline or kerosene should never be used to start a fire.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper or your Christmas tree.
- Burn large logs, rather than many smaller logs when possible.
- Get regular chimney inspections and cleanings to remove the excess creosote from the chimney walls and ensure safe burning