Fire officials in Muskoka are warning residents, make sure your chimney is properly cleaned before the winter.
As we get into more cold weather this week, homeowners with wood-burning appliances will start stoking the fire.
Officials say there is an increase in wood-burning appliance uncontrolled fires during the fall due to the chimney not being properly cleaned.
Residents are advised to hire a qualified chimney sweep with WETT certification.
According to officials, it is also important to have the wood-burning appliance properly cleaned as well.
Also, try to use hardwood whenever possible and burn the fire hot to keep creosote from forming in the chimney.
Fire officials say creosote build-up is more likely to cause a chimney fire.
Here are a few other tips from fire officials on keeping fire smart this winter:

  • Never keep combustible materials such as blankets or clothing close to a wood burning appliance or space heater
  • Make sure you respect all manufacturer’s instructions especially clearances from wood surfaces when installing or using a wood stove
  • Place firebox embers, even those that feel cool, in a metal container outside, well away from any buildings or vehicles
  • Have a dry chemical fire extinguisher hand and know how to use it
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are less than 10 years old and have fresh batteries
  • Have an practice a home escape plan
  • In the event of an accidental fire, get out, stay out and call 9-1-1 immediately
  • Keep your driveway and access routes clear of snow to allow access by emergency vehicles at all times