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The past few months have been very cold for our community, and that means higher than normal heating bills. Many people turn to wood as a source of heat. If you use a fireplace or wood stove to heat your home, there are a few safety risks of which to be aware.

Let us provide you with an insurance check-up to make sure you have the best possible coverage.  We have access to a number of different markets and can save you even more if you combine your home insurance and auto together.

To help you avoid the risk of a chimney fire, here are ten tips for wood-burning fireplace maintenance courtesy of the DIY Network:

  • Have your wood burning fireplace inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep at least once a year and more often if creosote builds up on the chimney walls rapidly.  Depending on where you live, this can cost anywhere from $100 to $200.
  • Between professional inspections and cleanings, monitor your wood burning fireplace for signs of buildup or other problems.
  • Your chimney has a cap with open sides usually covered with mesh to keep rain, birds, squirrels, other animals, and debris from entering the chimney. The cap should be inspected regularly and replaced when necessary.
  • Check the interior of your wood burning fireplace’s chimney for creosote buildup.
  • Also watch for soot buildup in the chimney of your wood burning fireplace. Soot is softer than creosote, flammable, and should be cleaned out of the chimney regularly.
  • If possible, burn hardwoods like maple, oak, ash, and birch. The advantages of hardwoods are that they burn hot and long, have less pitch and sap, and tend to cause less creosote buildup. On the other hand, they generally are more expensive than softwoods.
  • Anytime there is smoke indoors from your wood burning fireplace, troubleshoot and immediately correct any problems that you find. Possible causes of smoke are a dirty chimney with creosote or soot buildup, other debris in the chimney, a damper that isn’t open or is only partly open, or wood that is not burning completely.
  • To ensure wood burning fireplace safety, consider installing a stainless steel liner that will withstand even the highest temperatures and will keep the fire and its embers contained.

Finally it is also a good time to have review of your home and auto insurance policies. Call us today and let us provide a free quote. Worthington Insurance specializing in competitive auto, home, contractor and business insurance as well as insurance in Philadelphia, Yardley, Morrisville, Langhorne, Newtown, Bensalem, Levittown, Bucks County and surrounding areas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

 

Posted 9:33 AM

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