It’s time to get the home fires burning. Before you light your fireplace, step outside and check your trees. Trimming back branches from your chimney is an important step in fire prevention!
When it’s time to get cozy by the fireplace, you might not be thinking about your trees outside. However, overgrown branches can catch fire if you’re not careful! In fact, Bobvila.com cites that there are more than 25,000 chimney fires every year in the United States.
What Causes Chimney Fires
When a fire is burning in your fireplace, smoke and small particles can build up on the inside walls of the chimney. This is called Creosote. When you have a thick layer built up, the creosote can catch fire and shoot up the length of the chimney.
In these instances, any tree branches growing over your chimney may be a fire hazard. This is especially problematic if there is a lot of deadwood in your tree. Dry, brittle, dead branches are the perfect kindling!
How to Prevent Chimney Fires
Have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year to keep creosote build-up at a minimum. Put a chimney cap on top to prevent leaves and other natural debris, which can act as firestarters, from falling into your chimney. As a bonus, this will keep animals from climbing inside!
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), tree branches and leaves should always be pruned back at least 15 feet away from the top of the chimney in order to prevent fires.