PREVENTING CHIMNEY FIRES
In the case of a heater, check it for broken parts and cracks before firing-it-up each autumn. Periodically recheck and clean the heater during the course of the heating season. Any damage should be repaired as soon as it is found.
The chimney should be checked at least once a year for creosote build-up. Creosote accumulation is the main reason for cleaning a chimney.
Call a professional chimney cleaner and check with the Division of Consumer Affairs to see if complaints have been made against the company.
Repair cracks or holes in the flue. Sparks gener- ated by the fire could go through the cracks or holes and start a fire in the attic or the frame of the house. This can result in the loss of property and possible loss of life.
Enforcement - Investigate - Education
FIREWOOD STORAGE AND PREVENTING INSECT INFESTATION
Firewood often houses insects both under the bark and in- side the wood. The majority of these insects are harmless to people and to houses. However, firewood also harbor ants and termites - the ones that you do not want to bring into your home. To eliminate the problem of insects in your fire- wood, follow these tips:
■ Harvest your wood during the winter when most insects are not active. Do not leave the wood in the forest. Cut it into small logs so the wood can dry quickly. The drier the wood, the less chance for infestation by insects.
Store the wood aboveground, outside and away from your house, and keep it cov- ered. Keep some air space under the cover and under
the pile to keep the air flowing.
Buy wood locally. Invasive
insects like the Asian Long- Horned Beetle, which attacks maples and 12 other types of
trees, and the Emerald Ash Borer, which attacks ash trees,
can be transported to new areas inside firewood and can destroy the local trees.
Never spray the wood with pesticides. Burning wood that has been sprayed with chemicals is a health hazard.