Local chimney company offers tips to avoid house fires

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Temperatures are dropping and you may be considering turning your stove or chimney on.

ABL Chimney Sweep, a local chimney company, is reminding the community about the dangers of not maintaining your stove or chimney.

"Fire, it’s always going to win if you mistreat it," Lee Squire, Owner of ABL Chimney Sweep said.

A fireplace may be your main source of heat, but not cleaning it can turn your home to ashes.

"Probably one of the scariest things I have ever literally have seen," Squire said.

Before turning on the fireplace, it's a good idea to have it checked. Chimney inspectors say it all starts with what you’re burning.

"The way you burn, if I know the way you burn it helps me keep you safer, and at this time of year when we have these fire seasons, if you look up there you can see just how dirty that one is. They use it as their main source of heat so we like to get up and make sure your burning safe,” said Squire.

A mix of hard and soft wood is recommended in order to have cleaner emissions and avoid build up.

Using bark, heavily inked paper, treated wood, or cardboard can be large contributors to the creation of something very dangerous called creosol.

"It is literally what smoke turns into,” Squire said. “Smoke is a vapor from solid. The only reason it’s smoke is because it’s hot. The higher up it gets, it starts to cool down and it layers up inside and turns into a black oily substance that puts off a gas and it is highly flammable."

In Northern Nevada, we have very dry conditions, and for that reason Pamela Dupre and her husband make sure to clean their chimney once every year.

"It can be so dangerous if you don’t maintain your heat source especially if it is a wood burning or pellet burning stove you must make sure it’s clean," said Dupre.

A spark arrestor cap can be the reason your home avoids a fire.

"It keeps the sparks from getting out, but it also keeps tree limbs from getting out, the leaves the rain the snow, birds from falling in," Squire said.

ABL Chimney Sweep says staying warm is very important during the winter, but so is maintaining your heat source.

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