Food & Drink

Is a chimney fire dangerous?

By: Gary KenyonUpdated: December 22, 2020

Categories

Site Statistics

  • Questions
    94,481
  • Answers
    1,984,101
  • Categories
    21
  • Last Updated
    August 12, 2022
The most dangerous consequence of a chimney fire is that it creates pathways for carbon monoxide to enter your home and destroys the defenses that protect against a future house fire. If the damage is not repaired, a stray spark or second chimney fire could easily escalate to a house fire.

Keeping this in view, what do you do if your chimney is on fire?

What to do if you have a chimney fire
  1. Call the fire brigade - 999.
  2. If you have a stove then shut all air vents and flue dampers to reduce the chimney fire's oxygen supply.
  3. If you have an open fire then gently splash water on it to extinguish the fire.
  4. Move flammable materials, furniture, ornaments away from the fireplace.

How likely is a chimney fire?

There are more than 25,000 chimney fires incurring $125 million-plus in property damage every year in the United States. That damage is largely due to flames in the lower chimney migrating upward to crack, warp, melt, or otherwise negatively affect the masonry or metal chimney walls.

What are the signs of a chimney fire?

A loud, crackling or popping noise from the chimney flue (imagine the sound of a large bonfire) A lot of dense, thick smoke coming into the fireplace or out of the top of the chimney. Flames or things that are on fire (pieces of flaming creosote) coming from the top of the chimney. A strong, intensely hot smell.

Will a chimney fire burn itself out?

Yes. the material in the chimney will eventually burn off and go out. But before that happens it can set the parts of the house that is touching the chimney on fire. It can also cause the chimney to crack, as can spraying water down the chimney.

Related

How do you stop a chimney fire?

A few simple ways to help prevent a chimney fire are outlined below.
  1. Have Your Chimney and Fireplace Cleaned and Inspected Annually.
  2. Build Small Fires.
  3. Use Seasoned Wood.
  4. Never Use Paper or Combustible Liquids in the Fireplace.
  5. Use a Chimney Liner.
  6. Install a Chimney Cap.
  7. Ensure Good Air Supply.

What starts a chimney fire?

The main culprit of chimney fires is creosote. This highly flammable, dark brown substance coats chimney walls when by-products of a fire (smoke, vapor, and unburned wood) condense as they move from the hot fireplace or wood stove into the cooler chimney.

Will a hot fire remove creosote?

A hot fire will burn out any creosote that may have formed overnight. They either burned the creosote before it could accumulate or kept the chimney temperature above 250ºF so that the smoke escaped without its gases condensing. The burn was controlled by the amount of wood in the stove.

Does salt put out a chimney fire?

When a chimney fire starts, it may be possible to treat the problem with salt, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. While salt can extinguish small fires, it should not be considered a fool-proof method to fight a chimney fire.

What happens during a chimney fire?

These include smoke, water vapor, gases, unburned wood particles, hydrocarbon, tar fog and assorted minerals. As these substances exit the fireplace or wood stove, and flow up into the relatively cooler chimney, condensation occurs. The resulting residue that sticks to the inner walls of the chimney is called creosote.

Can a brick chimney catch fire?

Masonry Chimneys – A chimney fire can cause severe damage to the structure of the chimney. The heat is often hot enough to even catch the roof or other wood around the chimney on fire even without first damaging the structure.

Should sparks come out of my chimney?

Clouds of black smoke and sparks pouring out the top of your chimney are other indications of a chimney fire. The fire could be out before firefighters arrive, but it's a good idea to call them anyway. Get everyone out of the house. Close the damper or the air inlet controls to the fireplace or stove.

Is my chimney on fire?

You may detect: A loud, crackling or popping noise from the chimney flue (imagine the sound of a large bonfire) A lot of dense, thick smoke coming into the fireplace or out of the top of the chimney. Flames or things that are on fire (pieces of flaming creosote) coming from the top of the chimney.

Can you pour water on a fire in a fireplace?

While water can be used to put out a fireplace fire, it's not recommended. Not only does it take a lot of water to put the fire out completely, it also creates a huge mess that will need to be cleaned up later.

Are Duraflame logs bad for your chimney?

If this material is not regularly removed from the chimney burning a hot fire in the fireplace could ignite it and cause a chimney fire. Since duraflame® firelogs are made with dry wood sawdust, only a fine soot is left in the chimney.

What does a chimney fire smell like?

Chimney fires can be fast-burning or slow-burning. Flames or things that are on fire (pieces of flaming creosote) coming from the top of the chimney. A strong, intensely hot smell. A roaring sound, often described as being like a freight train or airplane.

Do Duraflame logs clean chimney?

Since duraflame® firelogs are made with dry wood sawdust, only a fine soot is left in the chimney. In fact, tests show that a duraflame® firelog has 66% less creosote accumulation per hour of fire than the creosote accumulation from burning a wood fire.

Can you go to bed with a fire in the fireplace?

You should not leave embers in the fireplace while you sleep. Don't build a fire too late at night, and stop adding wood to the fire at least 2 to 3 hours before bed.

How much creosote is dangerous?

The wood-burning byproducts consisting of a mix of tar, creosote, and soot, which build up in your chimney lining every time you burn a fire, have three degrees or stages. The third degree is the most dangerous, but all types of creosote are highly flammable and could start a chimney fire.

Where do most chimney fires start?

Chimney liners or structural problems can allow high temperatures, sparks and embers to escape to combustible areas in walls, roofs or attics. A common cause of chimney fires is creosote inside the chimney catching fire and burning inside the chimney.