National Fire Prevention Week is Oct 6 – 12
Next week marks the 91st annual National Fire Prevention Week! Each year in the beginning of October, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has a week full of activities and educational presentations for the public that focus on fire prevention methods. The main goal is to educate adults and children on how you can prevent house fires and increase safety around the use of fire.
While the subject matter behind National Fire Prevention Week is serious & somber, the activities that families participate in are fun and informative. Sparky the Fire Dog, who has been a part of this annual observance since the 1950’s, is there to help excite young children into learning the importance of fire safety and prevention.
National Fire Prevention Week was started in 1922 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire from 1871 that killed over 200 people and left over 100,000 people homeless. This devastating fire burned more than 2,000 acres and lasted two days. On the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (today known as the International Fire Marshals Association), decided that the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should not be observed with festivities, but instead should act as a way to inform the public on the importance of fire prevention. This gave birth to what we now know as Nation Fire Prevention Week.
Because there are over 25,000 chimney fires a year in the United State alone, it’s important to understand what causes these blazes so we can do our part to prevent them from happening. Your chimney is what allows smoke, dangerous gases, and byproducts from combustion to exit your house, keeping the air in your home breathable. It acts much like a window or bathroom/kitchen vent, but it requires special care and attention; something many homeowners forget.
The chimney is generally one of the most overlooked systems in your entire home. As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind”. Unfortunately, this is a very dangerous philosophy. Over the years, your chimney is subject to creosote buildup, deterioration due to the corrosive byproducts of combustion, and degradation from snow, water & moisture. All of these can lead to situations that can cause chimney fires.
In fact, creosote is the main cause of chimney fires. Smoke from a wood fire contains a black substance called creosote. As the smoke travels up the cool chimney flue, deposits of creosote can begin to form on the walls of the flue or liner. At temperatures below 250 degrees F creosote will condense on the surfaces of stove pipes or chimney flues, and as the temperature falls below 150 degrees F the creosote deposit will become a thick, sticky, tar-like substance that is extremely flammable.
The only way to prevent this cause of chimney fires is to have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually.
Fire Prevention Week Fun
Adults and children alike can find fun activities to do on the NFP website, which is rich with resources related to fire safety. Browse through important reminders, find fire safety procedures, and view fun videos that discuss best practices when burning fires.
Kids can also visit Sparky’s website where they can play fun games, take quizzes, and spend time learning about the importance of fire safety.
Don’t become just another fire statistic. Contact us today to have your chimney inspected and cleaned to ensure it is safe to use before the burning season begins.
“Reproduced from NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week website, www.firepreventionweek.org. ©2013 NFPA.”
Chimney Solutions, Inc.
1155 McFarland 400 Drive, Alpharetta GA 30004
Office 770-255-1300 / Toll Free 877-697-9337