Oscar Party Literally on Fire in Maryland: How to Avoid Disaster of a House Fire

Maryland, February 27, 2014 / MM Globalwire / – It’s that time of year where the gilded get real gold: It’s Oscar night.

A leading cause of house fires is chimney soot build-up.

A leading cause of house fires is chimney soot build-up.

40.3 million people watched the Academy Awards in 2013.  Aside from those at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles where the 2014 Oscars are being held, many Americans will be watching with friends at popular “Oscar Parties” throughout the country. That means food, drinks, games and a fire in the fireplace.

Now, imagine reading the headline, “House Fire Destroys Home in Maryland After Oscar Party”, and that fire occurred in your neighborhood.  It would be horrible, mostly because house fires are preventable.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were an estimated 365,000 house fires in 2012, which resulted in over 2,300 deaths, and cost $5.7 billion in damages. One of the leading causes of home fires is a home’s chimney.

“Creosote, or ‘soot’, is unburned fuel that collects in the flu and chimney,” said Dennis Barnes, owner of Piccadilly Square Chimney Sweeps, which services Harford County, Baltimore County and locations around Maryland. “When excess creosote builds up in a chimney flu it becomes highly combustible, and can cause a fire that showers sparks onto the roof. It can create an extremely dangerous situation,” Barnes added.

Imagine the panic and fear of having your roof catch fire during an Oscar Party, or even worse, later that night when everyone has gone and your family has gone to sleep.

The good thing is that most house fires are avoidable.

What can you do to reduce the chance of a house fire?

Barnes knows the dangers of soot buildup.  During his 30-plus years in business, he’s seen the toll house fires can cause to good people.  His simple recommendation to reduce the risk of house fires is to “have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually, or per cord of wood burned.”

The National Fire Protection Association agrees, adding that oil and gas furnaces’ flues should be inspected every year, and cleaned every three and seven years, respectively.

“The dangers of house fires increase exponentially in winter. The number one thing you can do to ensure the protection of your home and family is to schedule a chimney inspection before you start using your fireplace this year,” Barnes added.

So, whether you are hosting an Oscar Party or just warming up due to the cold snap – don’t set yourself up for the greatest (and most dangerous) disaster of the year.  Have your chimney inspected so you, your family and friends can enjoy a cozy fire with friends and family safely and worry-free.

More information on house fires can be found here.

Call (410) 879-6813 to speak to a specialist in Maryland regarding preventing house fires due to soot build-up.

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