|Chimney Fire Prevention
Have you been taking your chimney for granted?
Most of us do take our chimney for granted. Like an
old favorite, we know it's there, it never breaks, it never lets us down,
always reliable..... But is it?
A chimney is an important piece of home safety.
A chimney vents products of combustion (smoke and
carbon monoxide) from your home and it allows you to heat your home
(wood, pellet or coal stoves, fireplaces, non-direct vent gas and oil
systems all use a chimney). Don't take your chimney for granted,
schedule a yearly inspection and cleaning of your chimney with a
professional chimney sweep today!
What is a chimney fire?
Chimney fires begin in your chimney and are fueled by excess creosote,
or soot. Creosote is a product of incomplete combustion, it can
take many forms; a sooty powder, a hard black glaze, a black tar-like
substance or the appearance of burnt marshmallows. Creosote lines the
chimney's walls, this enables the heat venting in the chimney to ignite the
How do I know if I have a chimney fire?
If you think you may have a chimney fire, leave your home and call
These are some signs
that may indicate a chimney fire. This is not a complete list.
- Hearing a "roar" in the chimney.
- Creosote chips and debris found on
the ground or roof near the chimney.
- Smoke or soot in an attic.
- Smoke escaping from cracks in the
- Flames at the top of your chimney.
- Discolored chimney cap or visible
cracks in the chimney or missing mortar.
Since the fire is contained
in the chimney - it's safe to let it burn the creosote out, right?
NO. A chimney fire is not a safe way to
clean a chimney.
Chimney fires only start in the chimney. Depending on the
condition of your chimney the fire can spread through your home through
cracks in the chimney's missing or loose mortar, it can also bend metal
chimney liners and create cracks. A chimney fire is super-heated, the
fire can spread through your house through radiant heat. It can easily
spread to your rooftop - or your neighbor's house!
How can I prevent chimney fires in my
- Yearly chimney maintenance.
Have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep
A yearly inspection and cleaning aid in chimney safety because they will:
- find blockages in your chimney that
could result in poor venting, carbon monoxide
poisoning or a chimney fire.
- remove creosote built up from last
- find cracks, loose or missing
- Burn well-seasoned hardwoods. Green wood
builds up creosote faster.
- Install a chimney cap to prevent
things from falling into your chimney and reducing ventilation.
When removing ashes from your home make sure
- The ashes have thoroughly cooled.
- You are disposing them in a sealed
- You always store the ashes in a
sealed metal container away from your home and all combustibles. Donít
store the container on your wood deck..