Super Bowl, Beer, Chips and a Horrible House Fire in Baltimore

Baltimore, January 31, 2014 / MM Globalwire / – It’s that time of year. Super Bowl weekend games is in full swing, and so are the bowl game parties.  Beer? Check. Chips and Salsa? Check. Big fire in the chimney? Check.

Most Americans have only one concern on their minds during Super Bowl weekend – whether their team will win or not. But, there’s a lurking concern far more serious than the Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks losing the big game, or eating bad guacamole, and that is the potential for a house fire.

Imagine reading the headline, “Horrible House Fire Destroys New Year for Baltimore Family”, and that family was yours or your neighbor’s.  Now, imagine that the fire during the bowl game party was preventable.

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

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

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 a bowl game party, or even worse, later that night when the 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.

“As we enter into the winter months, the dangers of house fires increase exponentially. In fact, the month of January accounts for 21% of all house fires.  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 rooting for Denver or Seattle – 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 the games safely and worry-free.

More information on house fires can be found here.

Share this post:

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment