Use the Right Firewood. The fact is that clean chimneys simply don’t catch fire. Green wood burns much cooler than seasoned wood, and as a result the smoke is more likely to condense on the inside of the chimney and cause creosote buildup. Contact. Sometimes these fires burn themselves out, but they still can damage the chimney. Great people, very patient and quick ti get to you if they are busy! Level 3 ($1,000 to $5,000) includes Level 1 and Level 2 inspection. To avoid a wet flue, have a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) install a chimney cap (e.g., Shelter Galvanized Steel Chimney Cap, $39.90 on Amazon). A chimney sweep is the best solution, and homeowners should considering getting one on an annual basis. The good news is chimney fires can be prevented. And then be sure to have a certified professional do a chimney inspection to check for damage. But did you know that your fireplace ambiance comes with a maintenance requirement? Keep your chimney clean – It is extremely important and cannot be emphasized enough to have your chimney professionally cleaned at a minimum of once per year. Murphysboro Fire Chief Steve McBride says the fire department responds to at least two chimney fires a year. A chimney cap on the crown around the outside opening of the flue will keep debris and critters out. For chimney fires, the fuel is the creosote and the match is an overly hot fire in … A weaker one will deposit soot and creosote on your chimney’s walls. in the United States, so homeowners need to monitor this. Consider keeping a chimney fire extinguishing product on hand. Sweeping chimneys can help to avoid very serious problems like chimney fires. However, those are only the chimney fires you know about. But sometimes problems happen anyway. So it’s essential to be sure you have adequate coverage. An insulated flue liner will prevent flue temperatures from getting too cool—a condition that could encourage fire by-products to condense and form creosote. A firefighter can make sure your home is safe. He says chimneys should be inspected each year by a … It is much more straightforward to repair cracks in mortar joints or masonry than to replace a warped flue. Your wood needs to be dry throughout before you add it to your fire. Wait until the ash is cool and be sure to store in a fire-safe container such as a metal bucket. Expect to spend anywhere from $50 for galvanized metal caps to $500 or more for decorative models. Accidents happen even with chimney safety protocols in place. And chimney fires damage structures, destroy homes and can seriously injure or kill people. Do not burn paper in your fireplace. If you think you had or have a chimney fire, even a small one, always call 911. What Does a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy Cover? Chimney maintenance is always less expensive than repair. How Do I Purchase Private Health Insurance For My Family. Install a Chimney Cap to Help Prevent Fire Get enough seasoned wood to last through this winter. If you think you had or have a chimney fire, even a small one, always call 911. In the most severe cases, chimney fires can destroy houses and put lives at risk. But it’s easy to avoid chimney fires and costly repairs by: Burning seasoned wood only. Always stick to the best fire starters when selecting fuel, kindling, and tinder. Most chimney fires happen for one simple reason: improper usage and care of wood-burning appliances. They’ll check the flue walls and identify and address any potential problems. The wood you choose can affect the amount of creosote buildup on your chimney walls. These wood species are fine for a bonfire outdoors, but they burn up quickly and leave excess creosote on your chimney walls. Contact Lake Region Insurance Agency today for a free insurance review and policy quote. The heat can transfer through the fireplace to the surrounding, non-fireproof parts of your home. Not burning trash in a fireplace or woodstove. Make sure to open the damper when you light a fire. When chimney fires occur in masonry chimneys - whether the flues are an older, unlined type or are tile lined to meet current safety codes - the high temperatures at which they burn (around 2000' F) can "melt" mortar, crack tiles, cause liners to collapse and damage the outer masonry material. Getting chimney liners installed is important for several reasons. This happens when the fire isn’t hot enough, or your chimney is too short. You’ll hear a sound like a large bonfire coming from the chimney. The hot air rising through the chimney flue creates a draft, which is like a vacuum that draws the smoke up the chimney. Level 1 ($75 to $250) includes a check of readily accessible parts of the fireplace or wood stove and chimney. ...they find what policy you need and are very pleasant while doing so. Chimney fires cause property damage and put lives at risk every year. , can create a more massive fire than your structure can contain. Chimfex and Fire-Ex are products that work by quickly reducing the available oxygen in the flue to starve the fire. How? When that hardens into creosote on the chimney walls, there’s an increased risk of chimney fires. Don’t Let the Good Fires Bring on a Bad One – by Dave Lamb – dave@mychimneys.com According to the latest statistics available, there are over 25,000 Chimney Fires per year in the US that are responsible for over 125 million dollars in property damage. It’s important to minimize creosote build-up in your chimney, which is often the start of chimney fires. It is a layer of protection between the chimney walls and the fire. Ways to Prevent Chimney Fires Install a Chimney Liner. However, proper chimney maintenance decreases the risk of these fires. The main culprit of chimney fires is creosote. Consider keeping a chimney fire extinguishing product on hand. Resinous woods leave a byproduct, called creosote, behind in the chimney when they burn. Because many defects that lead to chimney fires, such as a cracked flue liner, aren’t visible to the naked eye, it’s crucial to have a Chimney Safety Institute of America-certified chimney sweep inspect your fireplace or woodstove, chimney, and venting system once a year. This situation creates a cooler, dirtier fire. once a year. As independent agents, we access plans from many providers so that you can choose from the best options out there. So stay on top of your chimney’s servicing needs to keep your home safe and avoid costly repairs. When you aren’t using the fireplace, keep the damper closed. Then douse the cooled wood and embers with enough baking soda to cover them completely—the sodium bicarbonate will extinguish any remaining embers. So it’s essential to be sure you have adequate coverage. That damage is largely due to flames in the lower chimney migrating upward to crack, warp, melt, or otherwise negatively affect the masonry or metal chimney walls. Hot, fast-burning fires, on the other hand, leave far less smoke, vapor, and unburned wood behind, so little to no creosote forms. However, budget-conscious DIYers willing to get up on a ladder can also clean their chimney without professional help by using a wide chimney brush. They’ll check the flue walls and identify and address any potential problems. The biggest thing that you can do to prevent chimney fires is to have your chimney inspected by a professional every year and cleaned as needed. Split the wood to speed the drying process, and stack it off the ground in a single row to increase airflow. Visit us in Cokato, Willmar, or New London, MN, to get a quote today. By Manasa Reddigari and Bob Vila. The best way to keep a chimney fire from happening is to prevent the build up of creosote and here are a couple of products that can aid you in that effort. If you’re just starting, look for wood that is already seasoned. Hot, smoky air rises through the center of the chimney, the flue, and out of your house. The first time you light up your fireplace there is a chance for a fire to spark if there are complications left over from the previous winter, such as a build up of creosote. The best way to burn a clean fire is to use the top-down burn method: Place the large logs vertically at the bottom of the fireplace or wood stove (with the bottoms of the logs facing you), add four to five horizontal layers of kindling, then top with tinder and light. Chimney liner kits can be purchased and installed by specialists, and they help ensure the longevity of a chimney that could be aging. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. To minimize creosote build-up, only burn seasoned hardwood that has dried for at least six months and contains a moisture content of no more than 20 percent, which you can easily test with a wood moisture meter (available online and at hardware stores for $30 and up, like this General Tools option on Amazon). According to the National Fire Protection Association, around 25 percent of all home-heating fires are caused by creosote buildup in chimneys – a serious statistic if you use wood to produce heat on a regular basis. Use the proper ladders when it is required to access the roof. Schedule an annual chimney inspection.. Because many defects that lead to chimney fires, such as a cracked flue... 3. You can find this simple tool for around $20 at your hardware store or online. And, before retiring for the night, always extinguish the fire: Spread out the wood and embers with a fireplace poker, then cover them with the ash lying at the bottom of the fireplace using a fireplace shovel. The main culprit of chimney fires is creosote. This will prevent the buildup of creosote and possibly avoid a dangerous fire. Leaves and animal nests inside a flue can quickly fuel a chimney fire when touched by loose embers from a fire. Find the best local pros and compare multiple quotes for your chimney or fireplace project. Accidents happen even with chimney safety protocols in place. Some people have described a sound like a plane taking off. Chimney fires are often the result of defects and damage to your chimney and a chimney inspection can detect areas which need attention, though they may not be … Wet wood equals more smoke and less heat. Unseasoned, or green, wood is the main cause of creosote buildup, so the easiest way to reduce the chances of a chimney fire is to use well-cured wood. Regular chimney inspections and cleanings help prevent fires … There’s nothing like a warm fire on a chilly winter night. Have Your Chimney Inspected Annually – Annual chimney inspection can prevent chimney fires. First, a chimney liner could be necessary in helping a chimney pass inspection. As independent agents, we access plans from many providers so that you can choose from the best options out there. Have your chimney serviced by a certified chimney sweep once a year. Creosote is a thick, flaky residue that can coat the walls of the chimney. A chimney liner is a great thing to prevent chimney fires. today for a free insurance review and policy quote. At the same time, get unseasoned wood for the following winter. Hardwoods like oak, ash, and elm are excellent firewood choices because they burn hotter and longer than softwoods. It’s so tempting to poke, prod, and add more wood to your crackling fire. Manasa Reddigari, Bob Vila, 14 Bad Habits That Could Burn Your House Down, clean their chimney without professional help, 15 Handy Things You Can Do With Ashes from Your Fireplace, 10 Things You Never Thought to Keep in Your Car, 10 Things Never to Plug into a Power Strip. But sometimes problems happen anyway. How To Prevent Chimney Fires It is recommend by all experts to have your chimney serviced and cleaned prior to the cold season when it will be getting a lot of use. MENTOR, Ohio — As you relax in front of your fireplace and enjoy the warmth it provides, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is how clean your chimney is. Avoid softwoods like fir, pine, and cypress. Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires, which damage or destroy homes and injure people. Contact Lake Region Insurance Agency for a free review of your homeowners or other policies. A professional chimney cleaning costs between $100 and $350 and usually includes a sweep of the outside of the chimney along with the firebox, the smoke shelf, the smoke chamber above the firebox, the flue, and the flue liner. But did you know that over 40% of house fires in Ireland are caused by a chimney catching fire? If you’re using it daily, like a wood … To avoid a disaster in your house, keep the following tips in mind. Overfilling your firebox, known as over-firing, can create a more massive fire than your structure can contain. But adding too much wood at one time can create a blanket over the flames. Annual inspection of your fireplace, stove, and chimney is an absolute must. RELATED: 14 Bad Habits That Could Burn Your House Down. Slow-burning chimney fires are common. Not only can damaged chimneys spread fire throughout your home but build up of soot and creosote can catch fire within your chimney. Keep reading to understand what causes chimney fires and the six best steps you can take for preventing them. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a trusted, honest insurance agent. Chimney Fires Can Be Prevented. Fill the metal container with water and store it outside the home away from other flammable materials until you’re ready to discard them. The heat can transfer through the fireplace to the surrounding, non-fireproof parts of your home. A strong draft will carry the airborne debris to the outside. The easiest way to prevent chimney fire is by having the chimney professionally cleaned every year, especially if you burn pine or other resinous woods. According to the annual report produced by the Department for Communities & Local Government, there were 7,700 chimney fires … There are only two ways to prevent chimney fires: take away the fuel and take away the match. If your home contains a chimney and/or a fireplace, remember to inspect and maintain it regularly. A blazing fireplace is an ideal solution to that problem. Contact. Not allowing your fire to smolder. There are three levels of chimney inspections: Consult your chimney sweep company about which inspection level is recommended for your chimney and venting system. A small fire that burns well does not produce as much creosote as a large fire that … It’s highly combustible, so if the temperature inside your chimney gets high enough, the creosote will catch fire. If the fire is contained within the flue system, move on to chimney fire-specific extinguishment methods. Hire a chimney sweep to perform this maintenance service so you know it’s done safely and correctly. Products to prevent chimney fires. Part of caring for your home is being ready to handle damages when they occur. It can even deter the occasional bird or bat that might find a way into your chimney. It closes off the fireplace when you don’t have a fire going, and swings up to open the flue when needed. It will also … You want the maximum draft to pull airborne particles up and out of your house. in Cokato, Willmar, or New London, MN, to get a quote today. Put ashes in a metal container with a lid, outside, at least 3 feet from your home. Fireplace safety: Keep a glass or metal screen in front of fireplace to prevent embers or sparks jumping out. To prevent this danger from ever occurring, follow these 7 tips to avoid a chimney fire from ever happening in your home. As a result, this causes a fire to break out inside your chimney. Lake Region Insurance Agency Provides Auto / Car Insurance, Home Insurance, Business / Commercial Insurance, and Life and Health Insurance to All of Minnesota, Including New London, Willmar, and Cokato. The best way to prevent a chimney fire is to have an annual inspection performed by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. If when you scratch a finger against a chimney wall and uncover one-eighth of an inch of build-up, it’s time for a cleaning. They also help to provide better air flow and better passage for the combustion process along with protecting the chimney walls form excessive smoke and heat. Chimfex puts chimney fires in as little as 22 seconds. There are more than 25,000 chimney fires incurring $125 million-plus in property damage every year in the United States. Consider keeping a chimney fire extinguishing product on hand. And if your chimney’s flue liner (the layer between the flue and chimney walls) is uninsulated, it’s recommended to insulate it by either wrapping a heat-resistant insulation blanket around the liner or pouring an insulation mix like vermiculite (available at hardware stores and on Amazon for $10 and up) into the space between the flue liner and flue. This pro will inform you of any damage and, if desired, repair it as well as remove soot, creosote, or obstructions such as bird nests. © Copyright 2020, Lake Region Insurance Agency | Privacy Statement | Login. As the article suggests, it is a good idea to keep a chimney fire extinguisher, such as Chimfex on hand. How Can You Prevent Chimney Fires? for a free review of your homeowners or other policies. This substance can coat the glass on your fireplace and stick to your chimney flue’s walls. A chimney fire occurs about 22,000 times a year in the United States, so homeowners need to monitor this. Using accelerants is not a safe way to start a fire, as they are highly combustible and do not burn clean. By a low rumbling sound that how to avoid chimney fires them of a freight train or a low airplane! They find what policy you need it next year, your wood is dry enough use. $ 250 ) includes a check of readily accessible parts of the fireplace to the surrounding, parts. 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