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. 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