December 1, 2011, INDIANAPOLIS – Each year, approximately 27,000 house fires start in chimneys or fireplaces, while nearly 16,000 fires begin in clothes dryers, reports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
That’s roughly 41,000 house fires a year that can be prevented.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association recommend that all chimneys, fireplaces and dryer vents should be inspected at least once a year – and it’s the mission of CSIA to foster public awareness of such issues relating to chimney and venting performance and safety.
“Many homeowners think their chimney only needs to be cleaned and inspected if they burn wood in their fireplaces or wood stoves,” says Ashley Eldridge, CSIA Director of Education. “But almost all heating appliances, whether they burn gas, oil, wood or coal, rely on the chimney to safely carry toxic gases produced by the heating system of the house.”
Lint and other debris that build up in clothes dryer vents can also create potentially hazardous conditions including carbon monoxide intrusion and the possibility for exhaust fires, CSIA cautions.
“When shifting into home-improvement mode or preparing homes for winter, homeowners tend to focus on what can be seen, like garages, gutters and basements,” says Eldridge. “Often the most dangerous hazards are those that are undetectable without an inspection by a qualified professional.”
Having established the most-widely recognized national certification programs for the chimney and venting service industry, CSIA strives to eliminate residential chimney fires, carbon monoxide intrusion and other chimney- and venting-related hazards that result in the loss of lives and property.
For more information about chimney and venting safety or to locate a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® or CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician®, visit www.csia.org.
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The Chimney Safety Institute of America is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to chimney and venting system safety. CSIA is committed to the elimination of residential chimney fires, carbon monoxide intrusion and other chimney-related hazards that result in the loss of lives and property. To achieve these goals, CSIA devotes its resources to educating the public, chimney and venting professionals and other fire prevention specialists about the prevention and correction of chimney and venting system hazards.