Other sparks pop out into the room, throwing tiny hot embers on carpets, drapes and furniture. Knowledge is key to reducing the potential of a chimney fire happening in your home. Call us today to learn more about us and our chimney services. What Causes Chimney Fires and How to Prevent Them Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons. Blockages in your chimney that can restrict air flow. Burning wood, no matter when releases pollutants in the form of gasses and particulate matter. Overnight burning or smouldering wood for long periods in wood stoves . To protect you, your home and your family from chimney fires, here we share with you some of the most common causes of chimney fires and how to prevent them. Smoke, or better termed, flue gas, releases by the initial fire, or primary combustion. Soot and creosote act as fuel for the fire within the chimney flue. This is not a rare situation considering that even squirrels can sometimes get trapped in the chimney. Fires Chimney fire causes damage to SE Rochester home ... Department was called about 4:45 p.m. Sunday to a home in the 2500 block of 28th Street Southeast for a report of a chimney fire. Although, chimenys are still suseptable to fires under certain condtions. Most common causes of chimney fires. When a chimney isn’t swept and cleaned regularly, flammable deposits can quickly build up. There’s Too Much Soot and Dirt . Chimney fires can damage a chimney lining and catch the home on fire or cause a rooftop fire. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that your chimney should be inspected annually to determine if the creosote in your chimney has reached dangerous levels that could cause a chimney fire. Don’t use the so-called cleaning logs and do not use duraflame logs. At their worst, these accidents can result in entire homes being burnt to the ground and people losing their lives. Tips to reduce the risk of chimney fire. This is a very vital question to ask as knowledge obtained can greatly help in preventing a chimney fire outbreak. 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. 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. How do Chimney Fires “Hurt” the Chimney? Fire investigators determined that a hot ember from the fireplace flew onto the dry shake roof from the chimney, causing the roof to catch fire. About $53,000 in damage was done to the home. Other causes of chimney fire are the presence of foreign objects inside the chimney. Prevent chimney fires with proper maintenance We all know chimney fires are a huge problem, but the good news is that they’re preventable. Chimney Fires – Causes And What To Do If They Occur. When wood burns, it creates smoke, which goes up the chimney and leaves the house into the surrounding air. This is quite a common question asked by a lot of homeowners. When chimney fires occur in masonry chimneys - whether the flues are an older, unlined type or are tile lined to meet current safety codes - the high temperatures at which they burn (around 2000' F) can "melt" mortar, crack tiles, cause liners to collapse and damage the outer masonry material. Without this natural form of ventilation, your home is vulnerable to the buildup of toxic gases generated within your home. When the conditions are just right, and a spark or flame is introduced up into the chimney, a chimney fire is often the result. Most chimney fires involve a terracotta (clay) flue liner and a wood stove. To understand what causes chimney draft let’s go back to basics. Chimney fires occur when creosote buildup or other debris catches fire inside the chimney. Burning unseasoned wet wood . 3 Things That Can Cause a Chimney Fire. Fast-burning chimney fires are extremely obvious, as fire rapidly consumes flammable residue on the inside of the chimney flue. A chimney fire is the combustion (burning) of residue deposits referred to as soot or creosote, on the inner surfaces of chimney tiles, flue liners, stove pipes, etc. … What causes chimney fires? What should I do after a chimney fire? Chimney inspections and cleanings are a must when it comes to prevent chimney fires. Causes. Fortunately, the noise a chimney fire makes usually alerts residents so fatalities from chimney fires are rare, with an annual average of approximately 30 deaths. More than 30% of homes in the United States have fireplaces. It might seem ironic, but unwanted chimney fires are actually very common! As a result, the molecules are distributed more widely and therefore these gases are less dense and lighter than the surrounding atmosphere, and rise. A common cause of chimney fires is creosote inside the chimney catching fire and burning inside the chimney. The embers smolder, often unnoticed for hours, and cause fires. A few causes of chimney fires include lighting a fire in a fireplace that has not been maintained and kept clean, and stacking a fire too high in the fireplace. Unwanted Blazes – A Fire in Your Chimney . Creosote and soot in the flue is a major contributing cause of most chimney fires. What Causes the Chimney Fire? How to avoid a chimney fire? What Causes Chimney Fires? 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. Chimney Fires: Causes, Effects & Evaluation Prepared by Chimney Safety Institute of America Chimney Fire Education and Research Task Force Jerry E. Isenhour, Sr., Chairman James P. Brewer Ashley Eldridge P.C. A few simple ways to help prevent a chimney fire are outlined below. The main causes of creosote buildup in a chimney can include: Incomplete combustion of the firewood. What is a chimney fire? Most chimney fires are the result of carelessness and a lack of chimney care and maintenance. The first took place Oct. 20, 2015, in an Elgin home in which wood and insulation inside the brick caught fire. Your first line of defense is always prevention. Creosote buildup in the flue that lines the chimney. It can also cause the joints of the chimney pipe or flue to crack and spread the fire in attics, etc. Failing to have your chimney swept often enough. Chimneys are designed to withstand the high temperatures that are generated from your fireplace. Common Causes of Chimney Fires. Infrequent sweeping: Regular cleaning won’t just help keep your fireplace looking presentable – it could also save your life. First off what is “creosote”? If there’s enough of it—and the internal flue temperature is high enough or sparks or flames reach it—a chimney fire can start. The hotter their temperature, the lighter the flue gas, and the greater the tendency to rise. Chimney fires occur when creosote, the residue from wood burning stoves, accumulates on the inner walls of a chimney. 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. This substance can be crusty, tar-like, sticky or hardened. But while smoke is gaseous, it often does not remain that way for very long, as it cools quickly and condenses to the inside of the chimney. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) there are more than 22,000 chimney fires in the United States each year and chimney fires are a leading cause of house fires. Causes of Chimney Creosote Problems. So far in the fall of 2015 we’ve already read about two chimney fires in the western suburbs of Chicago. Our team at Turner Baker can survey and advise you on the best course of action for your chimney. What causes a chimney fire? They can also cause a lot of damage if left unchecked! Chimney Fire Prevention. FIREFIGHTERS were called out to a chimney fire in Pickering. Chimney fires can be fast-burning or slow-burning. Here are the most common ways a fire might start in your chimney. What Causes a Chimney Fire? We have over 10 years experience in chimneys, flue liners and fireplaces, and have worked on a wide variety of projects around the UK. Creosote is a by-product of burning that coats the inside of your chimney that needs to be removed during regular annual chimney cleaning by chimney sweeps. It’s helpful to understand exactly what causes a chimney fire, so you can better understand how to prevent it. . Conditions that encourage creosote buildup include burning unseasoned wood, restricted air supply (such as failing to open the damper), overloading the firebox, and cooler than normal chimney temperatures. The main causes for chimney fires include infrequent sweeping or cleaning and wrong appliance sizing. Stage three creosote is the most hazardous since the tar-like fuel is stuck like glue to the chimney lining, which feeds the fire continuously. When chimney fires occur in masonry chimneys—whether the flues are an older, unlined type or are tile-lined to meet current safety codes—the high temperatures at which they burn (around 2000' F) can "melt" mortar, crack tiles, cause liners to collapse and damage the outer masonry material. Annually, an average of 22,700 fireplace and chimney fires cause about $112 million in residential damage. Creosote has three distinct stages, and as each stage increases, it becomes much more difficult to remove from the flue. Didn’t know your chimney could catch fire? Over time, these e or soot buildups can become a danger as they can potentially result in a chimney fire. When a fuel is burnt, the products of combustion are hot, and expanded. A chimney fire can have devastating results. The three most common causes of chimney fires are: Burning wet or unseasoned wood can increase the production of creosote. Have Your Chimney and Fireplace Cleaned and Inspected Annually. Crews from Pickering responded to the call-out to a residential property on November 30 (Monday) at around 3.30pm. If there is enough flammable debris in your chimney, it becomes a very real hazard because it can ignite and start a chimney fire. As sparks go up the chimney, they act like matches and can set creosote on fire, causing a chimney fire that harms the chimney and house--and possibly people. Infrequent sweeping and cleaning . Creosote is a highly flammable black or dark brown residue that is a by-product of combustion. 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