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