Chimney fires and their causes:
Tips to prevent chimney fires ….
CHIMNEY CLEANING –
The single most common cause of a chimney fire is not keeping your chimney flue clean which can allow a range of combustible materials or flammable deposits build up to the level where they can ignite in the mid to upper sections of your chimney. Obviously this is not where you want a fire burning in the chimney as no chimney flue is designed for fires to burn which can reach temperatures of 1000°C. This is the best tip to prevent chimney fires and it is recommended in the industry to have your chimney cleaned twice a year.
MYSTERY CHIMNEY –
Not sweeping your chimney is the lead cause (This is of paramount importance when you buy a house which your not aware of the chimney cleaning regime or history – ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a chimney cleaned and checked before you light the first fire in a home you have just occupied). A good idea offered by Chimney Ireland & Nationwide chimney repairs is a CCTV chimney survey which will assess the condition of the chimney flue & stack for any blockages, cracked flue liners or hidden damage, build up of tar and soot etc. – Contact them on 1890 929 555 and ask about the offer currently run where the cost of the CCTV chimney survey inspection & report is discounted from any chimney repairs you have to undertake which provides you with a substantial saving on top of the satisfaction of knowing your fire or stove is ready to use & heating your home with the warmth & comfort of a real fire won’t lead to the disaster of your chimney going on fire !
SLOW BURNING OF SUBSTANDARD FUEL –
One of the less obvious causes is slow burning fuel in your stove, particularly wet or damp fuel left to burn slowly for the night. This practice can increase the level of flammable tar and soot deposits building up in the chimney flue another chimney fire culprit.
DEFECTIVE CHIMNEY –
The final cause is a defective chimney with damage that has occurred and this creates the recipe for a chimney fire to occur.
more Information on defective chimney flues and repair solutions can be found here (click the images to visit the websites*)…………
how the damage has originated can be anything from roof storm damage that has gone unnoticed, wear and tear on the chimney stack or lining, age and types of fuel that have been burned in the fire or stove which has compromised the clay flue liner or chimney liner, stack, etc.
What are the signs your chimney is on fire ?
– A mass of smoke will be billowing out of the chimney pot, you may hear a ‘roaring’ noise coming from the upper chimney section, flames or sparking coming from the chimney pot
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A CHIMNEY FIRE – THE DO’S & DON’TS …….
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A CHIMNEY FIRE…….
1. Call 999 and ask for fire brigade.
2. If you have a stove shut all air vents and flue dampers to reduce oxygen to the fire.
3. If you have an open fire, gently apply water to extinguish the fire
4. Move flammable items of furniture away from both the fireplace and the chimney breast on the upper floors of the house if it is hot to touch then also move furniture away from the walls of the chimney breast.
5. Make sure the fire brigade can access your attic space if required (and check the chimney breast here also, if hot, move flammable materials and boxes away from it).
WHAT TO DON’T DO IF YOU HAVE A CHIMNEY FIRE…….
1. If you have a stove do not pour water on it to extinguish it.
2. Don’t add any extra fuel to the fire – you’d be surprised how many people think its what they are burning is causing sparks or a fire up the chimney flue.
3. Don’t pour sand, salt or other material on a fire to extinguish it, this can cause toxic gases or damage the chimney flue.
Serious chimney fire
Immediate issues of a serious chimney fire. The deposits in the upper section of the chimney flue can expand and block the flue when on fire. If the chimney then becomes blocked the fire will seek other sources of oxygen usually at the bottom of the chimney at the stove or fireplace which will lead to fire coming out the bottom of the chimney opening.
These are extreme cases which do occur and lead to larger house fires as the chimney stack which is likely compromised from the direct heat causes brick work to crack or explode – expand and break off – this can occur above the roof line and also the part of the stack within your attic space (below the roof line). An extreme risk is then present from sparks within the roof space and roof joists, roof sarking felt.
– Ensure your families safety first and foremost and having called 999 the fire brigade professionals will safely get the fire under control.
If damage is minimal clay flue liners will crack and your chimney will likely have to be relined. A chimney damage insurance claim for this may be feasible under your house insurance so for further advice on chimney damage insurance claims & to get your full entitlement call – Claims assist loss assessors. Your initial call out is free & they are specialists in handling claims for chimney fires and house fires nationwide across Ireland. Claims Assist Loss assessors work with Nationwide chimneys and Chimney Ireland to provide a complete solution for chimney damage insurance claims and the necessary components of identifying the cause of chimney fires, the damage to the chimney stack or flue pinpointed with chimney CCTV survey and chimney CCTV camera inspection. Contacting loss assessors is sound advice when presented with chimney fire damage or other chimney problems as the costs associated with repairs and replacement of chimney components are in most cases substantial.