Chimneys carry out the substances produced when firewood burns (smoke, water vapor, gases, unburned wood particles, hydrocarbon, tar fog and assorted minerals). As the hot substances flow up into the relatively cooler chimney, condensation occurs, which results in creosote residue sticking to the inner walls of the chimney.
Note: Although pellet stoves generate significantly less burn residue, it’s still important to clean and inspect your stove thoroughly, as you would a firewood-burning system.
If you would prefer to hire a trained technician, you can check if Cleancare Professional Pellet and Wood Stove Cleanings are available in your area by calling 1-800-PELLETS, or by entering your zip code at www.Woodpellets.com.
Letting a chimney accumulate creosote buildup can cause a house fire, which is (hopefully) common knowledge among wood-burners. But, there are more very common bad habits that can lead to a devastating fire, according to a report by Good Housekeeping. Are you guilty of any of these?
1. Over-Crowding Appliances: Items powered by electricity generate heat, and physical space around the item is needed for that heat to dissipate. Rachel Rothman, Technical Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, explains the importance of having major appliances plugged directly into a wall outlet – not through extension cords: “More than one heat-producing appliance in an outlet at a time risks overloading the wiring, putting you at risk for an electrical fire.
Note: Avoid linking extension cords together, or using old/worn-out cords. Excessive heat can build and if it comes in contact with anything that can burn, the risk of fire spikes.
2. Leaving Home with an Electric Appliance Running
According to Lorraine Carli of the National Fire Protection Association, crockpots are fine to leave unattended due to the temperature not reaching a point of concern. However, other appliances (such as stoves) should never be on unattended.
Note: Even if you’re home, kitchen fire risks are still present. Never walk away from your cooking on the stove top, especially if you’re frying something. It’s the riskiest cooking technique – according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
3. Unattended Lit Candles
This should really be a no-brainer, but this is unfortunately a very common bad habit. Lit candles should only be in the room you’re in, and blown out when you leave the room or go to sleep. Also, make sure your candles are in a sturdy holder to avoid any accidental knock-overs.
Note: Remember to keep those lighters and matches used to light your candles up high and away from children. The National Fire Protection Association claims an average of $235 million in property damage every year is from playing with fire.
4. Lint Build-Up in Dryer
According to the USFA, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause $35 million in property loss.
It’s easy to forget to empty the lint trap between loads, but it’s critical to do. The buildup of lint can catch fire from the dryer’s heat. In addition to checking/cleaning your lint trap, the actual dryer hose should be checked for clogs as well.
Do you have any hazards to add to this list? Whether you’re heating your home, hooking up electronics, cooking or doing laundry, please be careful and consider these bad habits you could be guilty of.