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Chimney fires affect millions of homes in America each year and most of them can be avoided.  By using proper safety guidelines in your fireplace and chimney and making sure you have your chimney inspected and swept each year you can drastically avoid your chances of enduring a chimney fire in your home.  However, when chimney fires do occur, it’s necessary to understand exactly what you should do.

When you realize that a chimney fire has ignited in your appliance, get everyone out of the house, including yourself.  Securing the safety of loved ones and pets should come first.  Don’t worry about your belongings, because it’s not worth risking your life for material possessions.  Once you have gotten everyone out of the house, call the fire department.  Most cell phones have a speed dial for your local fire department, and if not call 911.  Once you have called 911, they may keep you on the phone and give you further instructions.  If you have time, and no one is in danger, you may want to close the glass doors of your fireplace to prevent the fire from spreading into your home.

After a fire has damaged your chimney, call your professional chimney and inspection company to come take a look at your chimney.  A professional will be able to determine the overall damage to your chimney and fireplace.  It’s necessary to assess exactly what has been damaged, and what will need repairing.  During the best-case scenario, your chimney may just need a thorough sweeping.  However, masonry work and other extensive repair work may need to be done.  If you use your chimney a lot during the winter, have a plan regarding exactly what to do in the case of a chimney fire to keep your loved ones safe.