Chimney fires are no laughing matter, as they cause an estimated $125 million dollars of damage every year. If you're concerned about the dangers of chimney fires in your home, you need to understand the types that can occur and the ways that you can prevent them.
Types of Chimney Fires
There are two different types of chimney fires, sorted by whether or not they occur in the flue of the chimney: internal hostile fires and external hostile fires. Both are caused by creosote buildup, but identifying them can help you gauge the seriousness of the problem.
An internal hostile chimney fire is fueled by a buildup of combustible creosote in the flue of your fireplace. It can burn at temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and is extremely dangerous to your home. A loud gush of air coming out of your fireplace usually indicates this type of fire.
Sometimes, internal fires burn quickly when there are high levels of oxygen and fuel, but other times they burn slowly when these substances are more limited. Often, residue of the fire is expelled out of the top of the chimney and spread around your yard.
An external (or escaped) hostile chimney fire is one that occurs outside of the flue system. They are easier to spot than internal fires, because flames and smoke should be noticeable through the fireplace. The flames from an external fire can spread beyond your fireplace and damage other areas of your home. This makes them more noticeably dangerous than internal fires, though those fires can break apart the tiles in your chimney and spread.
Ways to Prevent Chimney Fires
Preventing chimney fires requires following a few simple guidelines, which include:
Sweeping a Chimney
Breaking apart the creosote in your chimney is one of the most effective ways to prevent chimney fires from forming. And breaking creosote apart requires a good sweeping. The moment you have found creosote buildup of a quarter-inch or thicker in your chimney, sweep it by following these simple steps:
Other chimney sweeping methods, such as sweeping from the bottom, using pull rings and weights, and a two-line system are also acceptable, but the "top down" method is usually the easiest to perform. It also creates lower amounts of spillage into your room.
If you're concerned about creosote buildup in your chimney and aren't ready to clean your chimney yourself, call a professional chimney sweep like Early Times Home Solutions. They can help you avoid the dangers of chimney fires and keep you out of situations where you need to deal with one by yourself.Share
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