Andover Fire Department Offers Winter Safety Tips

Now is the time to clean all vents

By Rene Lefebvre

The chimney fire season has started early this year. Now is a good time to clean chimneys and wood- and pellet-burning appliances. Well-seasoned firewood that has been drying for a minimum of one year helps to keep your chimney clean and safe during the heating season. 

As pellet burning appliances age, we have responded to more pellet stove issues. The problem is components that burn the pellets age out and plug vents. This will cause carbon monoxide to build up and set off CO alarms. Consider having a professional service your pellet stove once a year.
We are all familiar with the job our chimneys do for us. They remove the solids we see, like smoke, and the gases we do not see, like carbon monoxide. However, there are other vents that do an equally important job keeping us safe in our homes. 

Dryer vents need to be cleaned and free from snow that builds up in the winter. A gas dryer is designed to vent gas fumes through the vent. 

Pellet burning appliances draw the combustion air from the outside and expel products of combustion through the same vent system. It is important to make sure that they are kept free of snow all winter. 

Many people have metal roofs which are super for expelling snow, often in one large dump. This is the time to check vents, as the snow from the roof makes a large pile of snow on the ground close to your vents.

Winter is a great time to get outside and enjoy all our winter wonderland has to offer. But when it is time to come into your home, you will know that your air is fresh and ready for the aroma of hot cocoa.

From your fire department and auxiliary, have a safe and happy holiday season.