Keeping the fire confined to the fireplace

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Brick, wood — it doesn’t matter. In almost every neighborhood, you’ll find a chimney. Murray Head is an owner of a local chimney service and, even with the warm weather, he’s been busy helping people get ready for the winter.

“Managing their chimneys, cleaning them and making sure they’re inspected, safe is the most important thing,” says Head. “We go from top to bottom. We’ll look up and we’ll look down. And you look for any voids, any cracks, anything like that where a fire could escape out of.”

Having someone like Murray come inspect your home is the number one thing fire departments recommend.

“You need to have a qualified professional come in there and make sure that the flue is in good working condition, that your dampers working and that the fireplace is ready to go,” says Michael G. Martin, the Topeka Fire Marshal.

“Because you don’t want it to get carried away deteriorating or getting damaged and, you know, the damage could be something like a chimney fire,” says Head.

When trying to determine whether your fireplace is safe, there some simple things you can do. One is looking up your fireplace and seeing if there’s any residue that lines the chimney. You can also check for a smell and look around the fireplace to see if there are any cracks. It’s also important to make sure the wood being used isn’t wet; it can cause residue in the chimney that can catch fire.

“People will hear a really loud noise, like a air rushing really, and they may see things dropping down from inside,” Martin says. “That’s a sign that there may be a chimney fire.”

Officials say it is best to get your chimney checked at least every two years. For more ways to keep your home safe click here.

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