Home safety tip: Have your chimney or stove pipe cleaned annually

The certified fireplace technicians at Caledon Fireplace Ltd. in Caledon, Ontario, can provide expert guidance regarding safety practices in the use and maintenance of wood- and pellet-burning stoves and fireplace inserts.

Creosote is a sticky, highly flammable by-product of burning wood. This substance naturally accumulates inside the liner of the stove pipe or chimney of your wood-burning stove or fireplace and, over time, if not removed on a regular basis, increases the risk of a dangerous chimney fire.

The amount and rate of this creosote buildup depends on how frequently you use your stove or fireplace and the type and condition of wood fuel you use. Pine or wet or green, unseasoned wood, for instance, can result in a faster buildup over a shorter period than other kinds of wood, or dry and seasoned wood. A trained and experienced fireplace professional can offer guidance regarding types of wood and combustible materials to avoid.

The recommended guideline is to schedule an annual chimney or stove pipe inspection and cleaning by a professional chimney cleaning service prior to the heating season. If you operate an airtight wood stove frequently during a heating season, it is important that you check its flue and connecting pipe monthly, and to arrange an extra cleaning if necessary.

Ensuring that your wood stove or fireplace chimney is clean not only allows you to enjoy the beauty and warmth of a crackling fire, but also to do so with peace of mind.

BramptonGuardian.com, Ontario