It is that time of year again - chimney fire season. Many of the calls I get this time of year are for plugged chimneys or post chimney fire clean-up and inspection. The pattern is faily predictable - the weather warms, fires are burned low, the weather cools again, fires are burned hotter, and the creosote that was deposited ignites. Add to this that by March, most of us have burned through our "good" wood, and are tapping into the green stuff that we set aside for next year. Most of the time, the culprits are wood furnaces, fireplace inserts without a stainless steel liner, and pre-1990 wood stoves.
The best case is that the fire is caught in time, the fire department called, and a chemical "bomb" is dropped down the flue. This usually puts the fire out quickly, but creates an incredible mess in the house. You can plan on moving out for a week while the cleaning crews come in and remove the chemicals from every surface in your house. Some chimney restoration is usually involved to repair caps and cracked tiles.
The worst case is that the flue tiles fail and fire spreads to the adjacent walls. A full blown house fire is the result, and you can imagine the rest of the story.
The good news is that the risk and threat of a chimney fire can pretty much be eliminated. The following is a list of the most important preventive measures:
- Wood furnaces should always have a stainless steel liner. If there is a chimney fire, the stainless steel can withstand the temperatures.
- All fireplace inserts should have a stainless steel liner all the way to the top.
- Pre-1990 wood stoves should be upgraded with modern, clean-burning, models.
- Chimneys must be matched to the appliance for size and class
- All chimneys should be cleaned and inspected annually.
Don't wait for a fire, call Black Duck Chimney today to make sure you are burning safely.
PS. When was the last time your dryer vent was cleaned. More house
Matt Waite - Chimney Guy Owner Black Duck Chimney MI Mechanical Contractor - Specialty Wood & Gas