Preventing chimney fires

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Fire statistics show over 25,000 chimney fires take place each year across the country.

Fire officials say the best way to prevent these fires is to hire a certified chimney sweep at least once a year.

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Lieutenant Jessica Bowman with Lexington Fire says a clean, well maintained fireplace rarely catches fire.

Lexington Fire has responded to five chimney-related fires here recently. They say it’s not uncommon for chimney fires to spike this time of year.

Heating equipment like space heaters, furnaces, and chimneys, is the second leading cause of home fire fatalities.

Cornerstone Masons chimney sweeper Chris Bayne says he can help prevent a disaster like this from happening.

“A lot of these homeowners they just don’t know how risky it is not to clean their chimneys,” says Bayne.

Bayne has been cleaning chimneys for more than twenty years now.

He uses a special vacuum to clean the space of debris and creosote, which is highly flammable.

“What happens when flame hits creosote it’s extremely flammable and it’ll go up immediately,” says Bayne.

He says chimney brushes are a helpful way homeowners can keep the debris at bay but Lt. Bowman says it doesn’t compare to having a chimney sweeper do it.

“They would catch things that would go otherwise unnoticed by the average person,” says Lt. Bowman.

Chimney sweeper Bayne says paying for a chimney sweep doesn’t even come close to what you would pay in damages if your house were to catch fire.

“There’s so many years in the past that I see around this time of year where people lose their homes,” says Bayne. “And even their family’s lives and it is sad and it’s preventable.”

Cornerstone Masons can be contacted for a cleaning at 859-888-6636.

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