The unkown danger inside your chimney

The unkown danger inside your chimney

Posted in the Seneca Forum

Southern Chimney Sweep

Warner Robins, GA

#1 Jul 11, 2011
As you snuggle in front of a cozy fire or bask in the warmth of your wood stove, you are taking part in a ritual of comfort and enjoyment handed down through the centuries. The last thing you are likely to be thinking about is the condition of your chimney. However, if you don’t give some thought to it before you light those winter fires, your enjoyment may be short lived. Why? Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires.

Chimney fires can burn explosively. Flames and dense smoke may shoot from the top of the chimney. Homeowners report being startled by a low rumble that reminds them of the sound of a freight train. Temperatures inside the chimney get extremely high which can do damage to the chimney structure. Masonry chimneys may crack, which sometimes allows flames to reach the wooden frame of house. Prefabricated metal chimney flues may buckle and break, again causing flames to reach combustible parts of house. In both cases, the chimneys usually need to be repaired. Another danger of chimney fires is that hot embers erupt from the chimney top and could fall onto the roof, into gutters and around the yard.

How to prevent chimney fires

Chimney fires are entirely preventable. Here are some easy steps to take to avoid one.

1. Used seasoned firewood only. Burn hardwoods that have been split for at least six months.
2. Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper Christmas trees, etc. These can spark chimney fires.
3. Have chimney inspected and cleaned on an annual basis.

What to do if you have a chimney fire

1. Get everyone out of the house.
2. Call the fire department
3. Use a water hose to wet the roof as well as combustible materials around home.
4. Monitor exterior chimney temperature for at least 2-3 hours after fire is out.
5. Do NOT use fireplace again unless chimney has been thoroughly inspected by a professional.

Who to call?

Shawn Lee is the owner of Southern Chimney Sweep located in North GA. Shawn has been servicing chimneys across north Georgia and the Western Carolinas for over 12 years. Southern Chimney offers free safety inspections to homeowners that feel they may have had a chimney fire. Other services include chimney cap installs, repairs and wood stove installations. You can schedule your appointment with Southern Chimney Sweep at www.southernchimneysweep.com or call (800) 845-0608.

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