According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are about 53,600 house fires reported each year of which the primary cause is heating equipment. The leading contributing factor to these fires is one thing: failure to clean. The primary heating equipment causing these fires? Chimneys. When it comes to chimney fires, they are preventable. Are you doing all you can to prevent a chimney fire in your home?
Preventing Chimney Fires
The safest and most efficient chimneys are those that are cleaned regularly and inspected annually. If you haven’t scheduled a chimney sweep for your chimney system in the last 12 years, it may be overdue. Every time a fire burns in your fireplace, soot and creosote rise up the flue and particles are deposited on the walls of the flue and parts of the chimney. Creosote should be cleaned away before it builds up and forms into glazed creosote, a dense, highly flammable material that obstructs airflow and results in a high-pressure, high-heat fire. Schedule a chimney sweep now so that the soot and creosote will be brushed and vacuumed away before it becomes a dangerous problem.
Detecting Chimney Fires
Many chimney fires are noticed and are reported however there are many that occur without the homeowner ever noticing because it ignites and burns out on its own. It’s important to be aware of how your fireplace is working while burning and how well the chimney is venting your fire. You may not notice there was a fire until you see black around the top of the flue. At this time, you couldn’t stop the fire, but you can have the chimney inspected afterward. If you hear loud cracking or popping inside the chimney, you probably have a flue fire! If there is dense smoke or flames coming out the top of the flue opening, there is a dangerous flue fire! If your chimney and fireplace feel intensely hot, you may have a flue fire on your hands! These are reasons to call a chimney professional right away.
The Danger of Chimney Fires
A flue fire can easily lead to a structural fire, burning down your home completely or burning out on its own without reaching the rest of the house. Even if your flue fire burns out or went unnoticed for a time, it’s important to schedule an inspection with a professional before using the fireplace again. If a chimney fire has occurred, you need a level 2 chimney inspection which will include a video scan of the flue interior. Since a fire with high heat and pressure can crack a liner and damage masonry, the footage of the interior liner will be used to diagnose and schedule repairs.
At Mr. Smokestack Chimney Services we repair and service chimneys so that our customers can be safe and comfortable year-round. Let us help you prevent chimney fires. Schedule chimney services with us today by calling 919-747-1859 or schedule online.