With late October and early November temperatures dropping below 50 degrees, it’s the perfect time of year to start using the wood-burning fireplace in your Chicago home. After all, there’s nothing quite like the cozy warmth and crackling sounds that a wood-burning fire creates.
Unfortunately, if your fireplace isn’t taken care of properly or monitored cautiously while it’s lit, a chimney fire or out-of-control spark can cause tremendous fire and smoke damage. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments in this country responded to over 53,000 home structure fires in 2011 that involved heating equipment, including fireplaces. (Statistics for 2012-2014 are not yet available.)
If your mesmerizing, crackling fireplace turns into a nightmare, reach out immediately to the fire and smoke damage restoration specialists at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons. Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of families and businesses with fire, smoke, and water damage restoration, and our professional, courteous, and well-trained damage restoration specialists can help you, too! Our company serves 18 Chicago neighborhoods, including Logan Square, The Loop, West Loop, and West Town.
To keep yourself and your family safe and to prevent fire damage in your Chicago home, make an appointment with a reputable chimney sweep in the fall or early winter to remove soot and debris. If you burn more than three cords of wood per year, you should have your chimney cleaned twice a year, says the NFPA.
Here are several additional fireplace safety strategies to put into place before throwing another log on the fire:
- Clean out ashes from previous fires before starting a new one.
- Open the fireplace flue before starting the fire.
- Keep combustible items, such as furniture, books, newspaper, and decorative objects, at least 3 feet away from the fireplace.
- Equip the fireplace with a metal screen to catch burning embers or shifting logs.
- Never use your fireplace for burning holiday wrappings or grilling food.
- Keep small children and pets away from the fireplace.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
- Make sure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.
If you’re the victim of fire damage caused by an out-of-control fireplace or any other disaster in the greater Chicago area, call ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons immediately at 773-376-1110. Our disaster restoration technicians are standing by to help you get your life and your home back in order!