Precautionary measures to minimize fires from chimneys - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Precautionary measures to minimize fires from chimneys

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - With cooler temperatures around the corner, you may be tempted in a few weeks to start up the fireplace. However with the dry weather and fire danger persisting there are some steps you can take to make sure your property stays safe, inside and outside your home.

For the last 20 years Barbara McKinney has been using this fire place to keep warm during the winter. She says even with the dry conditions she'll still  be using her fire place, except this year she's taking extra precautionary measures to be on the safe side.

"My husband made sure that all the branches are trimmed, any limbs that come over the house are not anywhere close to the chimney," said Barbara McKinney, taking precautionary measures with chimney.

Smith County Fire Marshal Connie Wasson says this is one of the smartest things you can do with the dry conditions we're experiencing.

"If you have large fire in your chimney and you have tree limbs hanging over your home be sure to cut those limbs that are hanging close to your chimney so that that can't go up in the trees and catch these trees on fire as dry as they are right now," said Connie Wasson, Smith County Fire Marshal.

Wasson says the drought will most likely continue for another year, meaning anything is possible when it comes to your chimney.

"People really need to be extremely careful with their fire places and possibly put a screen on top of their chimney to help elevate some of the embers that can come out of the fire places," said Wasson.

Wasson says if you plan to put a screen on top of your chimney make sure to have it checked and cleaned before using it to prevent a chimney fire. She also says if you plan to throw your ashes outside, make sure you throw them in a burn barrel, and water them down this will prevent the barrel from getting hot and starting a fire.

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