Do you want to know how to maintain your chimney? Chimney fires are very scary and dangerous. There are more than 25,000 chimney fires every year in the United States. The damages are great to the home sometimes destroying a home and also putting lives at risk. These fires are preventable. It is extremely important to clean, inspect and fix a chimney yearly to prevent these fires from happening and keep your families safe. Here are some ideas to prevent chimney fires from happening in your home:
Prevent Chimney Fires By Cleaning up the Build-Up:
The key cause of chimney fires is something called creosote. Creosote is a dark brown or black flammable tar put on the walls of a chimney especially from wood smoke. If the temperature of the space inside the chimney gets very high and the creosote build-up is thick, it catches on fire and can spread and move up the flue of the chimney. To reduce the build-up, only use seasoned wood that is dry and always keep the damper open so that there is enough airflow. An insulated flue liner will avoid temperatures from getting too cool and therefore forming creosote to thicken.
Prevent Chimney Fires By Schedule a Chimney Inspection:
A yearly inspection of the chimney on the inside and outside is important. Many flaws lead to chimney fires for example; a damaged flue liner and creosote build-up. A professional chimney sweeper will let you know of any damage that is found and any needs of repair. Check with your chimney sweep company about what kind of inspection is recommended for your chimney, to prevent build-up and possible fire.
Prevent a Chimney Fire by Installing a Chimney Cap:
Small animals can leave nests inside a flue and also there could be dry leaves inside which can quickly ignite a chimney fire when they come across loose ashes. A chimney cap around the outside opening of the flue will keep all these things out. Keeping the flue clear and proper airflow happening. This cap also prevents smoke from a fire re-entering the chimney and then coming into your home, filling your home with smoke.
Prevent Chimney Fires by Using Safe Fire Starters:
Always use the well seasoned wood logs, which are CSIA-approved logs. Never under any circumstance use gasoline to start at fire, since it is highly flammable and can quickly create an uncontrolled blaze. Using old newspapers or even pine cones or twigs for kindling a fire is acceptable. Do not use cardboard or glossy fancy paper as it may contain chemicals that will release fumes all around your home making the air toxic.
Prevent Chimney Fires By Using Clean Burning Methods:
The best way to produce a clean fire is to place large logs vertically at the bottom of the fireplace then add three or four horizontal logs on top, also placing some old newspaper or twigs and then lighting for a fire. Remember always before going to bed, put out the fire. You can spread out the wood so it starts cooling off, and once the wood is cooled you can wet the wood to put out any remaining sparks. Once the firebox has cooled, preferably at least eight hours, you can then shovel the ashes into a metal container. You can fill the metal container with water and store it outside of your home also away from any flammable objects.
So how to prevent chimney fires will keep your home safe. A clean chimney will not produce a fire therefore proper care and regular cleanings are extremely necessary to guarantee the safety of your family and home. Keep a clean chimney and you will have a safer home. Chimney fires are a dangerous problem but they can definitely be prevented. It is important to only use in your fireplace resources that are safe to burn and will not harm your chimney. This is critical in keeping your chimney in a safe and working order. An annual chimney inspection and cleaning are a crucial part of your home maintenance.
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