Chimney Fire Safety – Fireplace Safety – Houston Texas
Chimney fires are absolutely devastating but also completely avoidable. A chimney that is well-maintained will not be a fire hazard.
– Schedule an annual chimney inspection and cleaning with a CSIA certified chimney sweep
– Only burn properly dried (seasoned) wood
– Build smaller but hotter fires to produce less smoke and byproducts
– Burn only materials meant for your fireplace (NOT cardboard, wrapping paper, or trash)
If is chimney fire does occur, take the following steps:
- Immediately evacuate everyone from the house.
- Call the fire department.
If you can do these without putting yourself in danger, follow these additional steps to mitigate the damage (always remember that physical possessions, including your home, are replaceable, but lives are not – follow these step while using extreme caution):
– Turn on and use a fire extinguisher or place a chimney fire extinguisher in the fireplace.
– Shut the glass doors to the fireplace.
– Shut the inlets on the wood stove.
– From outside of the home, use a garden hose to spray down the roof (not the chimney) to prevent the fire spreading to other areas of the home.
Chimney Fire Causes
When the fire burns, the smoke carries the combustion byproducts out of the chimney. But along the way, the particles in the smoke can attach to the walls of the chimney. This tar-like buildup is called creosote. This substance is highly flammable and remains stuck to the inside of the chimney until it is professionally cleaned off or until it catches on fire and burns off.
Creosote buildup is the leading cause of chimney fire, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Another cause of chimney fires is a chimney that is blocked or dirty, or otherwise in poor condition, which prevents the chimney from venting properly, thus causing the chimney fire. Almost every residential chimney fire is completely avoidable if the proper precautions are taken. Scheduling an annual chimney inspection with Guardian Chimney Sweeps can prevent a chimney fire or carbon monoxide poisoning from taking place in your home.
Mitigate the risk of a chimney fire by abiding by the following guidelines:
Keeping up with regular chimney maintenance will eliminate almost all risk of a chimney fire. Annual chimney inspections by a qualified chimney sweep is recommended to ensure the entire system is working correctly and if necessary a chimney cleaning can also be conducted. Also, after any severe weather make sure to have your chimney checked (interior and exterior) to make sure that it can still be operated safely.
Make sure to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home to prevent against the silent and odorless carbon monoxide. Also, prevent fires from starting within the chimney by confirming that your chimney has an appropriate chimney liner and chimney cap. And always utilize appropriate burning practices.
If you use a coal or wood stove, make sure that it is properly installed more than 36 inches away from the nearest wall. Also, keep combustible materials far from the stove and chimney connector and place a stove board beneath the stove to prevent hot coals or burning materials from igniting the floor.
Make sure you and your family are prepared and know what to do in case of a chimney fire. If a fire does occur, evacuate the house immediately and call 911 once safely outside.
For more information on how to prevent a chimney fire, or to schedule your annual chimney inspection, contact the chimney professionals at Guardian Chimney Sweeps today.