Maryland State Fire Marshal

News Release
Martin O’Malley Governor Fire Marshal William E. Barnard State

PIKESVILLE, MD (January 25, 2013) – A rash of home fires have been occurring during the first winter cold snap of the season involving chimney fires. The State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard is stressing the importance and value of insuring Marylander’s safety by having chimneys and flues properly inspected. “The warmth of a fireplace or woodstove in the home should be an enjoyable experience, however, all too often the proper inspection process is overlooked, which can lead to tragedy. Citizens should take the necessary steps to ensure their safety by having chimneys properly inspected and maintained to protect themselves from the dangers of a home fire”, stated Barnard. Please follow and share these basic guidelines to protect yourselves from the effects of a chimney fire. o Ensure chimneys are inspected and maintained annually or more frequently if used as the primary heating source. o Never use a flammable liquid to start a fire. Only use combustible materials like newspaper, kindling or approved fire starting products to safely create a fire in a fire place or woodstove. o Use properly sized fireplace screens or enclosures. o Keep combustibles at least three feet away from the source of heat. o When disposing of cooled ashes, do not use paper or plastic containers to remove them, instead use a metal container. Ashes will insulate hot embers long after the fire is considered out.


The Office of the State Fire Marshal is an agency of the Department of State Police dedicated to helping protect citizens from fire and explosion through a comprehensive program of education, inspection, investigation and fire protection engineering. For more information on fire safety call 1-800-525-3124, log onto our website at: and/or

1201 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, MD 21208

Media contact: Bruce D. Bouch, Deputy State Fire Marshal; 443-324-6876

1201 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, MD 21208

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