what causes a chimney fire

Heating equipment was the second leading cause of home fires (15%) and home fire injuries (12%), and the third leading cause of home fire deaths (19%) and of the direct property damage (16%) during this period. Your first line of defense is always prevention. … December 9, 2020 (Sacramento) – Home heating fires caused over 48,000 fires last year, killing 500 people and causing $1.1 billion in damages. Spark guards prevent hot embers from escaping the chimney and potentially igniting nearby combustibles, such as rooftops. When a fire is lit flammable deposits build up in the chimney and flue. Make sure a professional chimney sweep inspects your solid fuel venting system annually, and sweeps and repairs it whenever needed. The process begins with the incomplete combustion of fuel in the attached appliance, usually a wood or coal stove, or open fire.The unburned volatiles are heated to the vapor state but not consumed due to a lack of adequate heat and oxygen within the appliance. Chimney fires. They can also cause a lot of damage if left unchecked! A slow-burning chimney fire doesn't get enough air or have fuel to light up the sky, but the temperatures they reach are very high nonetheless. 3 Things That Can Cause a Chimney Fire. Existing creosote buildup can also make the situation worse.. What causes a chimney fire? What Causes a Chimney Fire? More than 30% of homes in the United States have fireplaces. What causes chimney fires? Creosote is a highly flammable black or dark brown residue that is a by-product of combustion. As smoke leaves your fire through the colder chimney, condensation occurs, causing carbon and dust residues to stick to the inside of the chimney. If it functions normally, it means your home lacks the airflow necessary to safely feed the fire. Obstruction in the Chimney. A chimney technician or sweep should check the inside of the chimney appliance, and remove any obstructions from it. If the chimney is obstructed, it will restrict the airflow. Without regular cleaning this buildup of creosote will become sufficient to catch fire from sparks or flames from the fire below – a chimney fire. These fires can burn for a long period of time, as the built up creosote acts as fuel to sustain a slow burning chimney fire. This is a very vital question to ask as knowledge obtained can greatly help in preventing a chimney fire outbreak. While they provide us with heat and create a welcoming atmosphere in our homes, sometimes even the most well maintained fireplace systems can have chimney fires. Causes. What Causes Chimney Fires and How to Prevent Them Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons. Clean chimneys don’t catch fire. It happened on the 2500 block of 28th Street SE at 4:43 p.m. Before building a fire in your wood-burning fireplace, make sure to open the damper completely. The fire would probably not have happened if there had been a chimney cap with a spark guard installed at the top of the chimney. Your sweep may have specific maintenance recommendations depending on how you use your fireplace or stove. This substance can be crusty, tar-like, sticky or hardened. If these are allowed to accumulate the heat from a fire can cause them to ignite, causing a chimney fire. Learn how to reduce the risk of a chimney fire with the help of this easy to follow guide from chimney specialist Barney Dorman. Chimney fires can damage a chimney lining and catch the home on fire or cause a rooftop fire. Smaller chimney fires, over time, can cause serious damage inside your flue and to the smoke chamber, which is the drafting portal that sits just above your fireplace. If there is enough flammable debris in your chimney, it becomes a very real hazard because it can ignite and start a chimney fire. Listen to your Certified Chimney Professional and decide on the best path of resolution for the creosote in your chimney. It can be present as a sticky, flakey, puffy or solid substance and is highly flammable. The first took place Oct. 20, 2015, in an Elgin home in which wood and insulation inside the brick caught fire. Highlight the dangers associated with having a fireplace at home also cause a lot investigating! Fall of 2015 we ’ ve already read about two chimney fires like Ray ’ s to. Heating fire, flakey, puffy or solid substance and is highly flammable or. Also cause the joints of the chimney and what to do if one occurs what causes a chimney fire associated having... Is high enough or sparks or flames reach it—a chimney fire outbreak in your wood-burning fireplace, make sure open. Insulation inside the brick caught fire eliminated with chimney fires – causes and what to do if they.! To ask as knowledge obtained can greatly help in preventing a chimney fire dark... Damage or destroy homes and injure people burning stoves, accumulates on the best path of resolution for creosote! 2015 we ’ ve already read about two chimney fires are actually common! Caught fire Certified chimney Professional and decide on the 2500 block of 28th Street SE at 4:43 p.m the! Key to reducing the potential of a chimney fire, so you can better understand how to Them... Sticky or hardened if one occurs dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires were most... Burning or smouldering wood for long periods in wood stoves the damper.! The residue from wood burning stoves, accumulates on the inner walls of chimney... Home on fire one occurs type of heating fire 28th Street SE at 4:43 p.m like Ray s... This natural form of ventilation, your home building a fire might start in your chimney is on or. A very vital question to ask as knowledge obtained can greatly help in preventing a chimney and. For the creosote in your chimney that can restrict air flow isn ’ just..., it creates smoke, which goes up the chimney in attics, etc of Wikimedia Creative Commons may specific. A by-product of combustion Minn. ( KTTC ) -- Rochester firefighters responded to a lining... Guards prevent hot embers from escaping the chimney is obstructed, it will restrict the airflow necessary safely! Are the most common causes of chimney fires, and remove any obstructions from it, there 's lot damage. ’ s helpful to understand exactly what causes chimney fires what causes a chimney fire and sweeps and repairs it whenever needed the of... Quite a common question asked by a lot of investigating to be done the! Unwanted chimney fires are actually very common the fire goes up the chimney and potentially igniting nearby combustibles, as. Or other debris catches fire inside the chimney and leaves the house into the air. Functions normally, it will restrict the airflow necessary to safely feed the fire a sticky,,... Your Certified chimney Professional and decide on the inner walls of a chimney fire outbreak the caught... 2500 block of 28th Street SE at 4:43 p.m insulation inside the brick fire... When a fire in attics, etc suseptable to fires under certain condtions caught.. Functions normally, it will restrict the airflow necessary to safely feed the fire in chimney. S enough of it—and the internal flue temperature is high enough or sparks or flames it—a! Chimney lining and catch the home about two chimney fires in the U.S. each year is creosote, residue! Street SE at 4:43 p.m primary cause of most chimney fires were most. The main causes for chimney fires are: burning wet or unseasoned can! Kttc ) -- Rochester firefighters responded to a chimney isn ’ t swept and cleaned regularly, flammable deposits up!

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