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Inspect, clean flues each year

Follow fire safety tips

by: Photo by Linda Larson - A firefighter checks the smoke billowing out of a chimney fire in this undated photo.

By Brian Huff
   JCFD Chief
   Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 would like to remind homeowners to have fireplace chimneys, woodstove and pellet stove flues inspected and cleaned each year by a qualified chimney sweep.
   In addition, we want to remind homeowners about safe practices, such as using a fireplace screens, keeping combustibles at a safe distance from heat sources, and properly disposing of ashes in metal containers outside of the house and away from other combustible materials.
   Fourteen percent of all residential fires are chimney-related fires. The largest percentage (63 percent) of chimney-related fires occur between November and February.
   Looking back at statistics from houses and apartments in Oregon from 2007 through 2011, there were 3,372 fires that either were confined to a chimney/flue or started in a fireplace, chimney, or flue and extended to the structure.
   During this period, these fires resulted in 10 deaths, 41 injuries, and more than $24 million in estimated property damage.
   The fire district would also like to remind our citizens to check that they have properly installed, working smoke alarms and homes with any sources of possible carbon monoxide should have carbon monoxide alarms installed as well.
   Please contact the fire district at 541-475-7274 for any questions or concerns about home fire safety.