Preventing chimney fires from happening in your home

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The cold winter months are upon us, and it's always nice to cozy up next to the fireplace. But do you know if your fireplace is safe to use? FOX19 shows you how to keep your chimney safe.

A chimney fire is something you may never see, but can be devastating to your home. We talked to chimney cleaning experts who say having your chimney inspected and cleaned should be on every homeowner's to-dos list.

According to the US consumer product safety commission over 29,000 chimney fires occur annually. But how do these fires start? Brian Byrd with Cincinnati Chimney and Masonry says intense heat can cause a chimney liner to crack creating a major safety hazard.

Jarrod Brewster, owner of Budget Chimney Sweeps, also suggests getting chimney caps to protect your chimney from getting cracks.

Experts say chimney fires are easy to prevent. They recommend homeowners get their chimney inspected and cleaned every year or every other year depending on its use. The inspection will clean out creosote build up and also detect cracks.

A chimney clean and inspection cost about 150 dollars. But that price is much cheaper than if a chimney fire caused damaged to your home.

Experts say if a chimney fire is discovered during an inspection, generally that is covered by your home owners insurance. It's just important to have documentation and pictures of any damage.

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