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Anchorage Fire Department
Friday October 4th, 2019 :: 01:12 p.m. AKDT


October is Fire Prevention Month - Chimney Fire Prevention

The National Fire Protection Agency reports the leading contributing factor to home heating fires was failure to clean solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys. October is Fire Prevention Month and the Anchorage Fire Department wants to remind everyone to have your fireplaces and chimneys inspected by a qualified, licensed and bonded professional prior to using them this season. 
While it was last November that Anchorage experienced a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, we’ve also had 10,200 aftershocks through August of this year, including 45 aftershocks of magnitude 4.0 or greater. Although the aftershock rate has decreased and everything is seemingly back to normal, there may be a chance your fireplace or chimney suffered some unseen damage during the last ten months. Perhaps the fireplace flue has shifted and is now too close to combustible material in the chimney chase. Maybe gaps have opened in the firebox, or maybe the firebrick or grout has cracked. A professional inspection can help ensure your fireplace is in good shape for this season.
With that in mind after having your fireplace and chimney inspected make sure you:

  • Have operable smoke alarms in each bedroom and in the hallway outside the bedroom and on each level of your home.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms and test them at least once a month.
  • Store cooled ashes in a tightly covered metal container after cleaning out the fireplace, and then keep it outside at least 10 feet from your home and any nearby buildings.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or space heaters.
  • Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.
  • Never use an oven to heat your home.
  • Turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Share with your family and then practice your home escape plan.
For further information on this topic and AFD’s Fire Prevention Month, go to the following websites:

Chimney Safety Institute of America - The Facts About Chimney Fires:
AFD Fire Prevention Month:


Anchorage Fire Department
100 E 4th Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 907-227-9473

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