The increasing chill in the air explodes the force to snug up in the frontage of the frizzling fire. We need to be very careful about lighting the logs in our fireplace.
It is a wise decision to call fire brigade or police when we view flames at the top of the chimney. But, prevention is always better than cure. So, whenever we hear the first popping or crackling sound surrounding the stove pipe, we should immediately take action by soaking newspaper in water and throw them into the stove. This will produce a lot of steam but will put out the fire.
Do you know?
Every year, there is a massive occurrence of approximately 23,000 chimney fires that damage billions of dollars and potential loss of lives.
What is the reason for chimney fire?
Chimney fires primarily result from creosote build-up. The high combustible residue remains in the chimney even after the wood burning is over. The wood emits gas, tar, smoke, hydrocarbons and tiny particles. When the internal temperature gets high in the flue, the creosote tends to ignite, often explodes in flames. The faulty chimney liner is another culprit behind the fire. If the coating is not able to provide the proper protection from the searing heat, it will spark.
What is creosote?
It is a gummy, corrosive, foul-smelling and combustible substance coating everything it moves through. It is usually composed when the volatile gases are coming out from the burning, combine and condense while going out of the chimney. It forms a hard layer of coating inside the chimney pipes. Sometimes, a fluffy substance is formed that plugs the pipeline and falls off filling the pipe’s lower spots. Thus, fire ignites.
The conditions that lead to creosote accumulation:
- Unseasoned wood
- Inadequate air supply
- Below the standard chimney temperature
We understand the urgency of cleaning our chimneys from fire protection. It doesn’t always mean that our pockets will burn unless the blockage is worse.
Indication of chimney fire:
- Loud popping or cracking noise
- Hot and intense smell
- Dense smoke that is hard to inhale.
Presenting you the convenient way to prevent chimney fire:
Hire a professional inspector:
Before advising you on cleaning your chimney by yourself, get it checked by a pro for the perfect sweep. Do it at the threshold of the heating season. An experienced and skilled worker will examine the liner and the ventilation. He/she will verify the cracks, leaks and creosote build-up and will look whether the vent is working in appropriate order. Then, he/she will proceed towards the cleaning of the flue, vent and the chimney.
Thus, a professional chimney sweep will check:
- Warped damper metal, metal chimney (factory-build) and metal smoke chamber connecting pipe
- Damaged roofing stuffs due to hot creosote
- Honeycombed or puffy creosote
- Distorted and discolored rain cap
- Creosote residues on the ground and roof
- Smoke evidence that is eluding from the tile liners and the masonry’s mortar joints
- Masonry exterior cracks
- Collapsed or ruptured flue tiles
- TV antenna that is in touch to the chimney and is damaged by the heat
Now, it’s your turn:
Always use the proper wood. All woods don’t burn the same. The best woods for your chimney are maple, ash, oak, beech, and hickory. The wood must be dried entirely with split ends. If the wood remains green, it will create more smoke because the moisture is getting dried ending in creosote making.
Stay away from burning any chemically treated wood substances like pressed wood, engineered wood, plywood, laminates and pressure treated wood. These woods will emit hazardous gases during burning.
Take some outside precautions for safety:
Pile the firewood approximately thirty feet away from the main building for avoiding any ignition.
During the fall time, sweep all the pine needles, fallen leaves, and debris from the flue and roof.
Keep the spark arrestor screen over the opening of the chimney. The mesh keeps the sparks away from flaming.
Using creosote removing powder is an alternative option for cleaning your chimney. Put the powdery substance in your wood stove and then start lighting. The creosote will turn into dust. Though, it is not the perfect replacement for chimney cleaning, yet, it will reduce the creosote.
Burn the wood stove daily. If you do it regularly, it will prevent creosote buildup. Check whether your stove reaches the ‘over fire’ zone. If so, close the flue for some time.
Therefore, we have learned that dirty and congested chimney cause devastating fires destroying our homes and killing people. If you want a welcoming and cozy warming atmosphere in your home, apply the given suggestions, keep your chimney clean and use it in the right manner preventing the catastrophic fire.
Contributed By: http://www.jamesthesweep.co.uk/