Chimney Tips & Links
Chimney Fires Don’t Have To Happen – Keep the Fire You Want from Starting One You Don’t
Here are some ways to avoid chimney fires:
* Have your chimney inspected annually by a certified professional and cleaned when necessary.
* Use seasoned woods only (dryness is more important than hard wood versus soft wood considerations).
* Build smaller, hotter, fires that burn more completely and produce less smoke.
* Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, trash, or Christmas trees; these can spark a chimney fire.
* Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures when wood stoves are in use so you can adjust burning practices as needed.
Inspect and clean catalytic combustors on a regular basis.
What to do if you have a chimney fire
If you realize a chimney fire is occurring, follow these steps:
* Get everyone out of the house, including yourself and call 911 or the local fire department.
If you can do so without risk to yourself, these additional steps may help save your home. Remember however, homes are replaceable, lives are not:
* Put a chimney fire extinguisher into the fireplace or wood stove.
* Close the glass doors on the fireplace or close the inlets on the wood stove.
* Use a garden hose to spray down the roof – not the chimney – so the fire won’t spread to the rest of the structure.
For more chimney safety tips, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America’s website at: www.csia.org
Chimney Caps People
People often ask why we always recommend a chimney cap.
Chimney caps are the single best way to extend the life of a chimney because they are the first method of keeping water out of the flues. Water entering the chimney will find its way down through the easiest path, frequently causing structural damage to the chimney along the way.
Eventually the water will find its way into the house and become evident by puddles in the firebox, stained walls and ceilings, or problems with dampness and mold.
Chimney caps are also necessary to keep raccoons,
squirrels, bats, and birds out of the chimney and the house. Bats can carry rabies, as can raccoons and raccoons also carry a type of roundworm that is transmissible to humans.
Squirrel and bird nests can plug the flues causing smoke to back up and also lead to chimney fires. Raccoons and squirrels can
destroy the inside of a house if they are inside for long enough.
Clean up after an animal infestation can be quite costly and require sweeping and disinfecting of the chimney and then cleaning of the house. Installation of a chimney cap can save a homeowner hundreds of dollars.