Olympia –Many Washington residents may be looking to take the chill out of these cool autumn evenings by using their fireplace. According to reports submitted to the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) through the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), nearly 600 residential chimney fires have been reported in Washington State over the last five years.
Chimney fires commonly occur due to buildup of creosote, which is a flammable byproduct of burning uncured wood that adheres to the sides of chimney flues. Additionally, chimney flues may become obstructed over the summer months with animal entry, tree overgrowth, and/or damper malfunction.
Before lighting a wood fire in the fireplace for the first time this season, take some time to protect your family from chimney fires and unsafe chimney venting. The SFMO recommends residents have fireplaces and chimneys cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional to reduce these risks.
For more information, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 596-3929.