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Avoid chimney fires with live saving tips

ALPENA, Mich–Gathering around the fire can be a great option to warm the house and spend time with family and friends.

But are you taking all the necessary precautions to make sure your home is safe?

Former president of the Michigan State Firemen’s Association and 20 year fire safety veteran Michael McLeieer gives us life saving tips to avoid a chimney fire.

“When we have chimney fires, it because of two causes, creosote buildup or it could be a spark or an ember got in–between a cracked mortar and got into the structure and started smoldering. It could be several hours before we actually hear or know that the fire has occurred.

To avoid a chimney fire, McLeieer stresses the importance of hiring a licensed chimney sweep before each season.

The technician will inspect the chimney and look for cracked mortar and creosote buildup.

Another safety tip is to use the fireplace as intended.

“Now we never should burn trash, we never should burn wrapping paper and never put the pine needles or Christmas tree droppings in that fire place. It should not be used for anything other the seasoned wood,” said McLeieer.

When bedtime roles around, remove fire place ashes and coals in a sealed metal container with a sealed lid. Remember to discard the container at least ten feet away from your home or garage.