Chimney Fires Leading Cause of Fires in November and December

Looking at just November and December fires reported in Oregon over the last 5 years, Chimney fires accounted for 30% of all fires resulting in $5.4 million in estimated damages.  Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal also reported recently that during the heating season of November to February in 2011 and 2015, there were a total of 2,968 fires that either were confined to a chimney/flue or started in a fireplace, chimney, or flue and extended to the structure resulting in 13 injuries.
To prevent chimney fires and related injuries:
  • Have your chimney and woodstove flues inspected and cleaned each year by a qualified chimney sweep,

  • burn only dry, seasoned wood; it causes less buildup in the chimney,

  • never use a flammable liquid such as lighter fluid, kerosene, or gasoline to start a fire

  • Have a home fire escape plan and practice it


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