What to Do if Sparks Are Coming From Your Chimney
It is wonderful to enjoy the luxury of a fireplace and the irresistible ambiance it provides, even while staying alert to potential dangers. What to do if sparks are coming out of your chimney is an important thing to know. Multiple sparks are usually a sign that there is a chimney fire, and the fire department should be contacted immediately. It is normal to see an ember occasionally fly out of a chimney. If you have a chimney cap with mesh installed, the mesh operates as a spark guard to prevent embers from escaping. The embers can start a roof fire or ignite other nearby combustible materials. Multiple embers, however, are typically created by a chimney fire, which is a great threat to home and family safety.
What Causes Chimney Fires?
Chimney fires occur when hot embers ignite combustible debris inside the chimney flue. Creosote is the substance that is most commonly associated with chimney fires. Creosote is tar-like and highly combustible. Every time you burn a wood-fueled fire, some creosote is deposited in the chimney lining. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends annual chimney cleaning to help prevent the occurrence of chimney fires. When chimney cleaning is neglected, creosote buildup becomes a heightened safety threat. Eventually, the flue becomes obstructed by increasing layers of creosote, which is a danger in itself. Any amount of creosote can be ignited by an ember that floats up the chimney. When there is creosote buildup, chimney fires have plenty of fuel to keep them burning hot and creating destruction.
It is always important to schedule a chimney inspection after a chimney fire. Virtually every chimney fire causes damage to some extent. The chimney flue, to do its job, cannot even have the smallest crack or deterioration on any level. The worst-case scenario of a chimney fire is that the fire spreads into the home. This happens thousands of times every year, sometimes resulting in the tragic loss of life.
How to Prevent Chimney Fires
Fireplace and chimney safety is essential and taking proper steps to prevent chimney fires has a great impact on the safety of your heating appliance. There are several ways you can help to prevent chimney fires from occurring, and three are shown below.
- Schedule Annual Chimney Inspections: Chimney inspections should be scheduled annually, according to all major fire safety organizations in the U.S. The benefits of chimney inspections include preventing chimney fires. Expert chimney sweeps are able to identify potential threats, such as creosote buildup or the presence of other combustible debris inside the flue.
- Schedule Chimney Cleaning: Although the NFPA recommends annual chimney cleaning, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) suggests scheduling chimney cleaning when the creosote buildup is 1/8 of an inch or more. It is as important to mitigate threats associated with creosote as it is to know what to do when sparks are coming out of your chimney.
- Burn Only Seasoned Wood: It is only safe to burn seasoned firewood in fireplaces. In addition, it is essential to understand that a fireplace can be overfired. In other words, it is possible to build a fire that is too hot for the size fireplace you have. Burning the wrong materials and overfiring your fireplace are two more ways hazardous chimney fires can ignite.
Contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps Today
Guardian Chimney Sweeps only has CSIA-certified chimney experts providing chimney services in Conroe, Houston, and the surrounding areas. If you know what to do if sparks are coming out of your chimney, you know that you should first call the fire department. Secondly, contact chimney professionals who can determine the extent of the damage caused by the chimney fire, if any. Contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps today for chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, chimney maintenance, masonry rebuilds, and the repair of damage caused by chimney fires. Call any of the numbers below.
Toll-free: (888) 306-6069
Conroe: (936) 271-9781
Houston: (713) 401-2011