Now that the cooler air of autumn is here, it is time to have your chimney inspected so it is ready for those dark winter evenings of sitting around the hearth with your loved ones. A good place to find a certified chimney inspector is at Fireplace Investigation, Research & Education Service or Chimney Safety Institute of America.
And while you are thinking about the chimney and winterizing your home, this is also a good time to consider a lightning protection system. Lightning strikes are one of the major causes of damage to chimneys and can cause attic fires and damage to the structure (see inset photo). More, the lightning can surge through the chimney to ignite or damage the entire building and pose an electrocution hazard to you and your family.
If you already have a lightning protection system, it should be inspected every five years by a certified lightning professional to make sure it’s in good condition. If you do not have a lightning protection system yet, ask the lightning professional to conduct a lightning risk assessment for you. A good place to find a certified lightning system designer or installer is at Lightning Protection Institute.
Don’t wait until spring. Lightning occurs year round. Read here to learn about “thundersnow.”