Fire officials remind residents to keep chimneys clean
November 16, 2011 · 10:14 AM
POULSBO — Local resources were stretched this morning when alarms went off for two separate residential chimney fires in Poulsbo. Crews from thePoulsbo Fire Department and Navy Region Northwest responded to the first fire, located on Highway 308 near Virginia Loop. Poulsbo Fire Department also responded to the second fire, along with North Kitsap Fire and Rescue, and Bainbridge Island Fire Department. This fire was located on Little Valley Road near Lady Bug Lane.
Firefighters were able to contain both fires to just the chimney area with minimal damage to the homes.
“This morning’s events are a good reminder for all of us who have wood stoves or fireplaces to get our chimneys professionally cleaned," said Battalion Chief Chris Morrison. "As you warm yourself in front of that fire, make sure that enjoyment isn’t short-lived.”
Officials say that chimney fires are preventable, and remind citizens that when cleaning out the fireplace or wood stove, dispose of ashes in a metal container with a lid. Place the container outside, at least 20 feet from the home. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, an average of 25,100 chimney fires are responsible for 30 deaths and $126.1 million in property damage on average each year.
Annual chimney inspections allow the chimney sweep to note cracks, creosote buildup or other obstructions which may diminish the functionality of the system and create an environment where chimney fires or carbon monoxide intrusion are likely.