Chimney Fires

Wooden chimney fireAs the owner of a Northborough Ma chimney repair, one thing which you should be wary about and do your best to avoid is chimney fires.  Chimney fires are often taken lightly by homeowners, and some homeowners even start them on purpose!  They are a very serious matter, though, and they can burn your house down.  Even if they don’t burn your house down they can still cause expensive damage to your chimney which can render it unsafe for future use until repaired or replaced.

If fire combusts in your chimney, the temperature inside the flue may become as hot as 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.  You may or may not be aware you even have a chimney fire.  Your chimney liner could be destroyed or the fire could cause damage which you don’t even notice, but which renders your chimney unsafe and makes it more likely that a second chimney fire could cause combustion in the materials which surround the chimney and which are combustible.  If these materials catch fire and combust in your first chimney fire or any subsequent chimney fire the result could be your house burning down

Why would anyone start a chimney fire on purpose?  Believe it or not, there are foolish people who believe that starting a chimney fire will actually clean out their flue.  This is of course a completely ridiculous and dangerous notion.  If your chimney flue is dirty and you can’t clean it yourself, call in a professional to take care of it.

One type of debris which can build up inside a chimney is called creosote.  Creosote can actually cause chimney fires.  It is the resulting buildup which is deposited by wood smoke vapors and consists of flammable, non-combusted tar which can catch fire and combust.  You’ll probably have a tough time trying to remove creosote from your chimney, and you may not be able to reach all the creosote.  A professional can help you get the creosote out, which will make your chimney safer.

How can you prevent the buildup of creosote and the subsequent risk of chimney fires?  One good precaution is to use good fuel for your fires.  That means choosing wood which is dry and burns easily, not wood which is wet or fresh and burns slowly and poorly.  Follow the instructions for the correct and proper use of your device, be that a furnace, wood stove, or fireplace, in order to reduce the likelihood of a chimney fire.

Chimney fire

Chimney fires are dangerous events which can threaten not only your chimney but your entire home.  With precautions like burning safe and efficient fuels, regularly cleaning the inside of your chimney (with the help of a professional, not a chimney fire!), you can prevent chimney fires from starting in the first place.  If you do discover you have a chimney fire in progress, call 911 and use a chimney fire extinguisher if you have one on hand.  Close any doors or inlets you may have on your fireplace so that airflow is reduced (air feeds the fire).  Then get everyone out of the home and wait for help to arrive.  Don’t use the chimney again until it is inspected for problems and cleaned thoroughly by a professional.


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