The Facts About Chimney Fires

The Facts About Chimney FiresAt Chimney Sweeps of America in Denver, we know the results of a chimney fire can be deadly. That’s why we make it a priority to share the facts about chimney fires and how to avoid them. Our goal is to save you thousands of dollars in damage to your home and possibly the life of a loved one.

Fireplaces and chimneys add a lot of interest to a home. Not only can you enjoy fires in the winter, but the chimney itself is a beautiful accent piece that adds sophisticated character to your home. However, as a fireplace owner, it’s also important to know the facts about potential chimney fires.

Two types of chimney fires
The first is fairly obvious. It gives off a lot of dense smoke and a hot, intense smell usually accompanied by a loud cracking or popping noise. Some people even report hearing a low, rumbling noise like that of a train or an airplane. The second type is slow burning and much more under the radar. They do not get enough air to be spectacular, but they eventually get very hot and start damaging the chimney and possibly setting fire to the surrounding combustible parts of the house.

How a chimney fire gets started
The purpose of a chimney is, of course, to funnel the unwanted byproducts of combustion out of the home. These include smoke, gasses, water vapor, ash, hydrocarbons and tar fog. As all this stuff moves through the relatively cool part of the chimney on its way out it condensates into a sticky substance called creosote. Creosote is extremely combustible, and if allowed to accumulate for too long it will eventually start a fire in your chimney.

How to avoid creosote buildup
There are a few things that you can do on a regular basis to keep creosote from building up as quickly in your chimney. Use seasoned wood that does not have a lot of excess water trapped in it. Make sure that there is sufficient air supply to the chimney by not closing down your damper too much or too soon. Also, do not stuff a wood stove full trying to get a longer burning fire.

Regular cleaning
Even if you do everything right to avoid creosote buildup, there is still going to be some that forms in your chimney – just at a much slower rate. Regularly cleaning your chimney and removing that creosote buildup is the number one way to make sure that you never experience the devastation of a chimney fire. It is also important to realize that the subtle version of chimney fires can occur without you ever realizing it and cause damage to the inside of your chimney that could endanger your home.

Chimney fires are best avoided by regular cleanings and maintenance from the friendly professionals at Chimney Sweeps of America. On top of cleaning your chimney, we’ll also perform a complete inspection to ensure that there is no damage and that your chimney is safe to use. Give us a call to learn more about the facts about chimney fires and book your appointment.

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