The first big fire after warm weather ends is usually the most dangerous. The residual creosote that has been built up since the last time the chimney was cleaned can be ignited from the heat and embers traveling up the flue, causing the chimney fire.
It's also important to avoid the flue tiles getting what's known as thermal shock, a process that occurs when the inside of the flue heats up much faster than the outside of the flue, cracking the flue tiles which can let the heat and embers escape into the walls causing a structure fire. When starting your fires this year, it's important to start them slowly and let the fire and heat build naturally rather than using an artificial accelerant to increase the heat and growth of the fire.
Also, it's important to note that Daylight Saving Time ends on November 1st at 2:00am, which means it's time to check and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. We cannot stress enough how important it is to have a smoke detector in every bedroom in the house, all major living areas and in the hallways between rooms. Quick alert of a fire can and will save your life and the lives of your family. If you need help checking the smoke detectors or for more information about smoke detectors, contact your local fire department.
And one final piece of advice, while we do not encourage anyone to attempt to fight an out of control fire on their own, or even a small fire without proper training, home personal fire extinguishers are available for purchase at most major retailers and parts stores. These can be used as an escape tool to allow you and your family to escape the fire if needed, or for controlling a small fire before it gets out of control. To receive more information or to request training on fire extinguisher operation, contact your local fire department.