How to prevent a fire in your chimney

Posted by Daniel Lawrence on October, 2015

Although it may seem unlikely, a chimney can catch fire easily and without notice. At worst the fire can completely destroy the home; at best it will fill the room with obnoxious smoke and gas. With foresight a chimney fire can be prevented, protecting the occupants from harm and the structure from damage.

Before discussing prevention it is best to discuss why a chimney can catch fire and why chimney cleaning in Columbus, OH is so important; this understanding will help you prevent such an occurrence. When wood combusts it creates smoke, the smoke exits the home via the chimney and simply goes into the atmosphere. Although smoke is a gas, it is only gaseous for a short time after leaving the surface of the burning material, as smoke cools it condenses in the chimney flue. As the condensation process takes place, a tarry substance called creosote forms on the chimney walls; it is this material which causes a fire to start in the chimney.

Creosote will ignite when temperatures exceed 1000 degrees F, this may seem an impossibly high temperature but it is not, the temperature of a roaring fire is considerably higher. All it takes is a spark and the creosote that is built up in the chimney can ignite. Sparks can easily be drawn up the chimney when the wind outside is strong, this creates an updraft which in turn pulls burning embers up the flue. It is keeping the chimney flue free from an excessive buildup of creosote that prevents fires, fortunately professionals that offer chimney cleaning in Columbus, OH are readily available.

The main cause of creosote is burning wood which is not dry and seasoned. Green wood does not burn at the same high temperature as well seasoned wood does, the result is excessive smoke which condenses in the flue, causing a rapid buildup of creosote. When you purchase wood make sure it is dry and well seasoned, it will be a little more expensive than green wood but well worth it.

No matter how hot you build the fire, creosote is inevitable. There are a couple of things that you can do to further reduce the possibility of a chimney fire. Never burn anything that catches fire quickly in the fireplace; paper and tissues for example can be quickly pulled up the flue while still ablaze, causing the creosote to catch fire. The most important thing you can do is to call a professional who does chimney cleaning in Columbus, OH, these skilled people have all the right tools to keep your chimney clean and in good condition.

To maintain the chimney on your home it needs to be clean and in good repair. For chimney cleaning in Columbus, OH you are invited to contact Whempys Ductwork & Chimney Services.

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