As independent agents, we access plans from many providers so that you can choose from the best options out there. For chimney fires, the fuel is the creosote and the match is an overly hot fire in … Visit us in Cokato, Willmar, or New London, MN, to get a quote today. Use the proper ladders when it is required to access the roof. Chimfex and Fire-Ex are products that work by quickly reducing the available oxygen in the flue to starve the fire. So it’s essential to be sure you have adequate coverage. Not only can damaged chimneys spread fire throughout your home but build up of soot and creosote can catch fire within your chimney. Clean chimneys don’t catch fire. If you think you had or have a chimney fire, even a small one, always call 911. This highly... 2. A firefighter can make sure your home is safe. Chimney fires cause property damage and put lives at risk every year. Fortunately, if you practice the prevention tips here, that hard-working column above your fireplace or wood stove should continue to do its job of ushering smoke and other by-products out of your home, so you and yours can safely enjoy cozying up in front of the flames. To prevent this danger from ever occurring, follow these 7 tips to avoid a chimney fire from ever happening in your home. Leaves and animal nests inside a flue can quickly fuel a chimney fire when touched by loose embers from a fire. 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). Learn how to prevent chimney fires below. Put ashes in a metal container with a lid, outside, at least 3 feet from your home. If the temperature in the chimney flue (the space inside the chimney) is high enough, and the creosote build-up thick enough, creosote can catch fire—and that fire can spread and move up the flue. Creosote is a thick, flaky residue that can coat the walls of the chimney. A strong draft will carry the airborne debris to the outside. These tragedies are often preventable: Failure to regularly inspect, repair, and clean a chimney can cause it to malfunction or collect dangerous build-up that puts your family at risk. Fireplace safety: Keep a glass or metal screen in front of fireplace to prevent embers or sparks jumping out. As a result, this causes a fire to break out inside your chimney. once a year. First, a chimney liner could be necessary in helping a chimney pass inspection. 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. It can line the chimney and flue over time, and under the proper conditions, it can ignite. You love your home and take good care of it. Chimfex and Fire-Ex are products that work by quickly reducing the available oxygen in the flue to starve the fire. When that hardens into creosote on the chimney walls, there’s an increased risk of chimney fires. in Cokato, Willmar, or New London, MN, to get a quote today. Use dry wood. Chimney Fires Can Be Prevented. To avoid a disaster in your house, keep the following tips in mind. But it’s easy to avoid chimney fires and costly repairs by: Burning seasoned wood only. Your chimney won’t catch fire if it’s clean. 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. Check for any soot buildup and remove it, clean the interior of your fire place, inspect the chimney and its cap, and consider using fire screens to help keep any lit fires inside your fireplace. Chimney maintenance is always less expensive than repair. Make sure a professional chimney sweep inspects your solid fuel venting system annually, and sweeps and repairs it whenever needed. However, those are only the chimney fires you know about. Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. By the time you need it next year, your wood will be ready. Keep reading to understand what causes chimney fires and the six best steps you can take for preventing them. Homeowners report being startled by a low rumbling sound that reminds them of a freight train or a low flying airplane. Keep your wood stack in a sheltered area or cover it in wet weather. How Can You Prevent Chimney Fires? 6 Ways to Stop Chimney Fires Before They Start 1. And then be sure to have a certified professional do a chimney inspection to check for damage. Part of caring for your home is being ready to handle damages when they occur. He says chimneys should be inspected each year by a … 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. The main culprit of chimney fires is creosote. 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. But adding too much wood at one time can create a blanket over the flames. Thick, dense smoke may push down the chimney and into the house. 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. Caps also prevent acidic rainwater from entering and corroding the chimney. Schedule an annual chimney inspection.. Because many defects that lead to chimney fires, such as a cracked flue... 3. Accidents happen even with chimney safety protocols in place. 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. A chimney cap on the crown around the outside opening of the flue will keep debris and critters out. Hot, smoky air rises through the center of the chimney, the flue, and out of your house. There are only two ways to prevent chimney fires: take away the fuel and take away the match. 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. Freshly-cut trees or branches contain sap, and it takes 6-12 months for logs to dry out completely. This happens when the fire isn’t hot enough, or your chimney is too short. 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. • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year. Get enough seasoned wood to last through this winter. Not allowing your fire to smolder. 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. The standard chimney inspection with a cleaning from a sweep costs about $150 to $350. But sometimes problems happen anyway. Accidents happen even with chimney safety protocols in place. 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. A chimney liner is a great thing to prevent chimney fires. Using accelerants is not a safe way to start a fire, as they are highly combustible and do not burn clean. If you think you had or have a chimney fire, even a small one, always call 911. , can create a more massive fire than your structure can contain. A small fire that burns well does not produce as much creosote as a large fire that … A chimney sweep is the best solution, and homeowners should considering getting one on an annual basis. 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. Some people have described a sound like a plane taking off. Overfilling your firebox, known as over-firing, can create a more massive fire than your structure can contain. Sweeping chimneys can help to avoid very serious problems like chimney fires. Hot, fast-burning fires, on the other hand, leave far less smoke, vapor, and unburned wood behind, so little to no creosote forms. 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). Season your firewood by stacking it outside and letting it sit for at least six months. Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires, which damage or destroy homes and injure people. Low-temperature, slow-burning fires, particularly those left to smolder overnight, produce more smoke and leave behind more unburned combustible material. Build Small Fires. Chimney liner kits can be purchased and installed by specialists, and they help ensure the longevity of a chimney that could be aging. Hardwoods like oak, ash, and elm are excellent firewood choices because they burn hotter and longer than softwoods. ...they find what policy you need and are very pleasant while doing so. If the fire is contained within the flue system, move on to chimney fire-specific extinguishment methods. Having your fireplace and chimney cleaned once each year will help to eliminate fire hazards due to creosote and other materials, like pine needles, leaves, and animal nests. Contact Lake Region Insurance Agency today for a free insurance review and policy quote. So it’s essential to be sure you have adequate coverage. 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. The high water content also makes for a thicker, stickier smoke compound. How? This highly flammable, dark brown substance coats chimney walls when by-products of a fire (smoke, vapor, and unburned wood) condense as they move from the hot fireplace or wood stove into the cooler chimney. If you aren’t sure whether your wood is dry enough to use, measure it with a moisture meter. Hire a chimney sweep to perform this maintenance service so you know it’s done safely and correctly. Have your chimney serviced by a certified chimney sweep once a year. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. 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 chimney that’s connected to your fireplace or wood burning stove has a critical job. Consider keeping a chimney fire extinguishing product on hand. for a free review of your homeowners or other policies. Level 2 ($100 to $500) includes video scanning of internal chimney surfaces. RELATED: 14 Bad Habits That Could Burn Your House Down. This will prevent the buildup of creosote and possibly avoid a dangerous fire. Resinous woods leave a byproduct, called creosote, behind in the chimney when they burn. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a trusted, honest insurance agent. A blazing fireplace is an ideal solution to that problem. 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. Then douse the cooled wood and embers with enough baking soda to cover them completely—the sodium bicarbonate will extinguish any remaining embers. today for a free insurance review and policy quote. This habit will help to insulate your home from outside temperatures. As independent agents, we access plans from many providers so that you can choose from the best options out there. Consider keeping a chimney fire extinguishing product on hand. Part of caring for your home is being ready to handle damages when they occur. You will see flames and burning pieces of creosote erupting from the top of the chimney. They’ll check the flue walls and identify and address any potential problems. Not burning trash in a fireplace or woodstove. The effort of maintaining your fireplace chimney is a small price to pay to avoid chimney fires. Consider keeping a chimney fire extinguishing product on hand. Wet wood equals more smoke and less heat. Most chimney fires happen for one simple reason: improper usage and care of wood-burning appliances. If your wood is wet or not fully cured, it will not burn as hot as dry wood. Install a Chimney Cap to Help Prevent Fire 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. The heat can transfer through the fireplace to the surrounding, non-fireproof parts of your home. 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. Minimize creosote build-up to prevent chimney fires.. Contact Lake Region Insurance Agency for a free review of your homeowners or other policies. You can find this simple tool for around $20 at your hardware store or online. It’s important to minimize creosote build-up in your chimney, which is often the start of chimney fires. It closes off the fireplace when you don’t have a fire going, and swings up to open the flue when needed. Expect to spend anywhere from $50 for galvanized metal caps to $500 or more for decorative models. Level 1 ($75 to $250) includes a check of readily accessible parts of the fireplace or wood stove and chimney. How Do I Purchase Private Health Insurance For My Family. 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. Products to prevent chimney fires. When you aren’t using the fireplace, keep the damper closed. To avoid a disaster in your house, keep the following tips in mind. Contact. Do not burn paper in your fireplace. Lake Region Insurance Agency51 Main Street SNew London, Minnesota 56273, Lake Region Insurance Agency1690 1st Street SWillmar, Minnesota 56201, Lake Region Insurance Agency330 Broadway Ave SCokato, Minnesota 55321. The wood you choose can affect the amount of creosote buildup on your chimney walls. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. Your wood needs to be dry throughout before you add it to your fire. What Does a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy Cover? You want the maximum draft to pull airborne particles up and out of your house. There’s nothing like a warm fire on a chilly winter night. 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. 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. But did you know that over 40% of house fires in Ireland are caused by a chimney catching fire? Make sure to open the damper when you light a fire. The hot air rising through the chimney flue creates a draft, which is like a vacuum that draws the smoke up the chimney. Clean your fireplace and chimney. Have Your Chimney Inspected Annually – Annual chimney inspection can prevent chimney fires. After the firebox cools (for a minimum of three hours, but preferably eight), shovel the ashes into a metal container. This situation creates a cooler, dirtier fire. However, proper chimney maintenance decreases the risk of these fires. A chimney fire occurs about 22,000 times a year in the United States, so homeowners need to monitor this. These wood species are fine for a bonfire outdoors, but they burn up quickly and leave excess creosote on your chimney walls. It’s highly combustible, so if the temperature inside your chimney gets high enough, the creosote will catch fire. 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. Use the Right Firewood. Find the best local pros and compare multiple quotes for your chimney or fireplace project. In the most severe cases, chimney fires can destroy houses and put lives at risk. The damper is a metal plate in the chimney that controls the air supply to your fireplace. According to the annual report produced by the Department for Communities & Local Government, there were 7,700 chimney fires … It can even deter the occasional bird or bat that might find a way into your chimney. THE PURPOSE OF A CHIMNEY. Regularly clean your fireplace of ash from prior fires. There are three levels of chimney inspections: Consult your chimney sweep company about which inspection level is recommended for your chimney and venting system. It will also … It’s so tempting to poke, prod, and add more wood to your crackling fire. The best way to prevent a chimney fire is to have an annual inspection performed by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. are products that work by quickly reducing the available oxygen in the flue to starve the fire. It is a layer of protection between the chimney walls and the fire. At the same time, get unseasoned wood for the following winter. Avoid softwoods like fir, pine, and cypress. Great people, very patient and quick ti get to you if they are busy! Inspections and cleaning by your local chimney sweep can make sure creosote is not actively building up, limiting the release of smoke and other gases. What Should I Do If I Have a Chimney Fire? Slow-burning chimney fires are common. Chimfex puts chimney fires in as little as 22 seconds. The fact is that clean chimneys simply don’t catch fire. in the United States, so homeowners need to monitor this. As the article suggests, it is a good idea to keep a chimney fire extinguisher, such as Chimfex on hand. A firefighter can make sure your home is safe. But did you know that your fireplace ambiance comes with a maintenance requirement? And chimney fires damage structures, destroy homes and can seriously injure or kill people. Your chimney removes smoke from your home while providing fresh air to feed the fire in the fireplace. They occur when the creosote is hot enough to burn, but there isn’t enough to cause a big blaze. The bottom line is that dirty chimney’s cause chimney fires. Split the wood to speed the drying process, and stack it off the ground in a single row to increase airflow. Wait until the ash is cool and be sure to store in a fire-safe container such as a metal bucket. You love your home and take good care of it. Keep stocking your lumber a year ahead to continue the cycle. 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 … Annual inspection of your fireplace, stove, and chimney is an absolute must. 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. Regular chimney inspections and cleanings help prevent fires … Murphysboro Fire Chief Steve McBride says the fire department responds to at least two chimney fires a year. The main culprit of chimney fires is creosote. If you’re using it daily, like a wood … Always stick to the best fire starters when selecting fuel, kindling, and tinder. The heat can transfer through the fireplace to the surrounding, non-fireproof parts of your home. Chimney fires occur when creosote and / or soot inside the chimney catch alight. Copyright © 2020 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. You’ll hear a sound like a large bonfire coming from the chimney. “Sometimes, people don't do the maintenance of keeping their fireplace clean, especially the flue,” said Jerry Craddock. So stay on top of your chimney’s servicing needs to keep your home safe and avoid costly repairs. Level 3 ($1,000 to $5,000) includes Level 1 and Level 2 inspection. A weaker one will deposit soot and creosote on your chimney’s walls. Fill the metal container with water and store it outside the home away from other flammable materials until you’re ready to discard them. Sometimes these fires burn themselves out, but they still can damage the chimney. If your home contains a chimney and/or a fireplace, remember to inspect and maintain it regularly. 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. The cap will also prevent “back puffing,” whereby escaped smoke from a fire re-enters the chimney and then the home. Getting chimney liners installed is important for several reasons. © Copyright 2020, Lake Region Insurance Agency | Privacy Statement | Login. Contact. There are more than 25,000 chimney fires incurring $125 million-plus in property damage every year in the United States. But sometimes problems happen anyway. By Manasa Reddigari and Bob Vila. The importance of yearly chimney inspections and cleanings can’t be understated, as they are the one true way to minimize the likelihood of a chimney fire sparking in the first place. While some homeowners opt to put in a chimney cap themselves, self-installation may void the warranty—it may be worth it to call a pro. And remember to always keep the damper (a metal plate in the flue that regulates the draft) open during a fire to maintain adequate airflow. The good news is chimney fires can be prevented. If you’re just starting, look for wood that is already seasoned. This creosote coating is highly flammable and, given enough heat, will ignite causing a chimney fire. 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. Ways to Prevent Chimney Fires Install a Chimney Liner. 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. 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. It is much more straightforward to repair cracks in mortar joints or masonry than to replace a warped flue. Put the fire out before you go to sleep or leave your home. Creosote is fuel for chimney fires, and if it ignites, the heat may be much higher than your chimney can withstand. They’ll check the flue walls and identify and address any potential problems. This substance can coat the glass on your fireplace and stick to your chimney flue’s walls. What causes chimney fires and costly repairs homes and injure people are very pleasant doing! 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