Although rare, chimney fires have devastating consequences. You risk losing your property, injuring yourself or even losing your life.
The fires are characterized by dense smoke that has a strong, hot smell. You will also experience shooting flames coming out of the chimney top. If there is a lot of fire you will hear a low, rumbling sound that resembles the sound of a freight train.
If the chimney is burning slowly, you might not notice it and only be caught by surprise when the chimney collapses on you all over a sudden.
The major cause of chimney fire is creosote buildup. If a lot of creosote has accumulated it can easily catch fire thus burning your house.
How to prevent chimney fire
There are many things that you can do to prevent the fires from occurring. Here are some of the things you can do:
Installation: chimney installation problems can cause chimney fires. If you are constructing a new house, you should hire a qualified chimney contractor to install the chimney for you. This is to ensure that the unit is professionally installed.
If you are buying an already constructed house, you shouldn’t rush to make the payments. You should first ask a certified chimney sweep to inspect the chimney and ensure that its perfectly installed.
Regular cleaning: As mentioned, one of the major causes of chimney fires is a dirty chimney. It’s recommended that you hire a chimney cleaning professional at least once a year to clean the fireplace. If you use the chimney more often, you can hire the professional twice a year.
In addition to cleaning the chimney, the professional should also undertake chimney repair. To save money you should hire a chimney masonry repair professional with both chimney cleaning and repair skills.
Burn the right wood: the wood you use greatly determines the amount of creosote that is deposited. As rule of thumb you should avoid burning fresh wood. Wood contains water that mixes with smoke forming a lot of creosote.
To avoid creosote deposition you should burn seasoned hardwood. Great woods that you should go for are: hickory, oak, ash, beech and maple. For ideal results you should ensure that the wood has been seasoned for at least a year.
In addition to seasoned hardwood burning efficiently and producing a lot of heat, they produce very little creosote thus protecting your house and eliminating the need of regularly hiring a chimney sweeping professional.
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