Chimney Fire Prevention

Chimney Fire Prevention

The warmth and glow of a mountain cabin fireplace creates a wonderful, relaxing atmosphere but many mountain home residents fail to adhere to regular cleaning and inspection. This puts your home at risk for a chimney fires.

In some chimney fires, flames burst through the top and emit billowing, black smoke. Other fires burn more slowly and might be barely noticeable. Very intense eruptions sound like an jet airliner.

The fire and smoke damage from chimney fires can destroy your home and endanger lives but with some good habits and regular service by a chimney sweep, chimney fires are fairly easy to prevent.

A sweep identifies any risk and can remove dark, sticky build up of creosote that might be sparked into flames. To avoid build up, avoid burning unseasoned wood and keep chimney air flow unrestricted.

Make sure to use chimney caps and screens to prevent animals from entering the chimney. It also serves to keep debris out of the chimney as well.

Chimney Sweep

Here are some chimney fire safety tips you might find useful.

  • Burn only dry, seasoned wood since unseasoned firewood burns cooler and can cause condensation of flammable build-up in the chimney.
  • Use hard woods such as citrus, eucalyptus, or oak for fires since they burn cleaner than softer woods.
  • Glass doors or dampers should not restrict air supply since that adds to the buildup of creosote.
  • Create small fires since they burn hotter.
  • Avoid the the temptation of burning other materials in the fire since they can travel up the chimney and ignite.
  • Schedule a regular cleaning with a certified chimney sweep. Make it part of your spring cleaning habit.
  • A good rule of thumb for cleaning a chimney is to do so every 1.5 to 2 cords of wood burned.
  • Install carbon monoxide and smoke alarms in your home.
  • Buy a dry chemical fire extinguisher (10-20 pound size) and have it checked and recharged annually.

Find a certified chimney sweep at the National Chimney Sweep Guild or the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 and is filed under Business & Commerce, Mountain Lake Resort, Small Town Living.

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