Having a fire burning in the fireplace might seem like an ideal way to keep your home warm in the winter. But, more than a third of all home fires in rural areas are a result of using a woodstove or fireplace to heat the home, according to the US Fire Administration. Protect your property and family with these safety tips.

Clean and Inspect Yearly

Hire a professional chimney inspector every year to look over and clean out the chimney. The inspector should check for cracks and other damage to the chimney. He or she can also remove creosote and other debris from inside the chimney and replace the chimney cap, which keeps birds and foreign objects from falling in, if needed.

Choose Fuel Carefully

Don’t throw just anything in the fire. Use seasoned, dry hardwood, only. Soft woods tend to produce a greater amount of creosote, which builds up in the chimney and increases the risk for a chimney fire.

Start the Fire Safely

Avoid using lighter fluid or any other flammable liquid to start the fire. Instead, use kindling as a starter.

Consult your homeowners insurance policy to see what coverage it provides for fires. Contact The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, to discuss your insurance options today.

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