NORTH COAST- There is a nationwide campaign called, Put a Freeze on Winter Fires. The National Fire Protection Agency is teaming up to remind you that the winter months are the leading time of year, for home fires.
Some might be surprised, but there are several ways winter fires can occur. One in six fires happens between December and the end of February and out of those one in six fires, heating equipment is involved.
“This time of year, our rise of fires do go up. Due to the fact that people are using alternative sources for heat, i.e. space heaters, wood stoves, and radiator heaters. So the potential is always there,” said Cal Fire Captain, Eric Ayers
The National Fire Protection Agency says, that candles, holiday lights, electrical issues and dried out Christmas trees that haven’t been disposed of, are also winter fire problems. However, chimney fires top the charts. They occur at an alarming rate in our country, over 25,000 chimney fires account for over 120 million dollars in damage to property every year.
“Well the reason you have chimney fires is probably due to lack of maintenance. You need to have the system cleaned at least once a year, if you're burning it all the time. Another cause, is creosote buildup, which is caused by cold fires. Which is anything under 300 degrees,” said Dave Scoles, Co-owner of Nor-Cal Chimney Service.
Chimney and stove experts say, if you have a stove, insert or any kind of wood burner, you should burn it at 500 degrees for about an hour. Then you should maintain it between 300 and 500 degrees. This will help prevent creosote, which is actually what causes chimney fires.
“You can take care of that with a simple little magnetic thermometer, that sticks right on the stove,” said Scoles.