It is something none of us like to imagine…waking up to smoke, in the dark – fear racing through our veins. Unfortunately, many homeowners face this horrible situation because of chimney fires. Anyone with a chimney attached to their home needs to understand the risk of chimney fire. A chimney fire can quickly spread throughout a home and cause a great deal of devastation. However, there are a few tips anyone can follow to reduce the danger in their home.
One of the most important ways of avoiding a chimney fire is to keep the chimney and fireplace clean. It is useful to know that the embers in the fireplace may remain hot enough to ignite for several days after a fire. Sweep the fireplace out after each fire and dispose of the ashes in a metal container and remove from inside the home and away from the home. However, it is advisable to keep a thin layer of ash on the bottom to provide proper insulation for the fireplace.
Another way to decrease the risk to remove the fuel by installing a chimney cap. A chimney cap is a small topper for the chimney that prevents any foreign material from getting in. When the chimney becomes clogged with animal debris or leaves, smoke and combustible gasses are not able to exit the home as they should. Debris and animals nests can easily become combustible material that can fuel a chimney fire.
Of course, it is imperative to have an annual inspection as well as a professional cleaning of the chimney. A CSIA Certified chimney sweep can identify chimney fire risk factors that a normal homeowner would never know of. In addition, a certified chimney sweep will be able to provide a much more thorough cleaning than someone who lacks the proper tools and training. This little bit of home maintenance can stop many serious issues before they begin.
Additionally, all homeowners should be familiar with the signs that there is already a chimney fire in progress. They may sometimes notice a loud, popping sound coming from their chimney that is much louder than a normal roaring fire. There will be a great deal of smoke coming from the fireplace and there may be a heavy smell in the air. If any of these signs, become evident, it is important to act quickly. However, most chimney fires go unnoticed thus the importance of yearly chimney inspection can identify damage that you may have not known existed.