Chimney fires are among the most common fires in the United States and have caused damages of more than $125 million per year. These fires are caused when the flames of the lower chimney migrate upwards to affect the masonry, metal, or chimney walls and cause cracks and warping in the material.
Chimney fires can destroy homes and put families’ well-being at risk, which is why many people need fire damage restoration services immediately after the incident. Why are we talking about your chimney in the summer time? Because now is the time for maintenance! Many of these tragedies are easily preventable with regular inspections, repairs, and cleaning, which can reduce the chances of malfunctioning and dangerous residue buildup that causes these harmful accidents in the first place.
With the following prevention tips, you will be able to maintain your chimney properly and reduce the chances of chimney fires in your home.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Family from Chimney Fires
Reduce the Creosote Build-Up to Prevent Chimney Fires
The main cause of chimney fires is creosote. Creosote is a highly flammable dark-colored substance that can coat chimney walls as a by-product of the chimney fire. The amalgamation of unburned wood mixed with vapor and smoke condenses as it moves to the cooler part of the chimney. Creosote buildup is much more significant in the higher section of the chimney, and if the buildup is quite large at the bottom, it can also catch on fire. This fire cannot be easily contained as it spreads quickly and moves up the flue. Only use seasoned hardwood to avoid creosote buildup in your walls and maintain adequate airflow.
Schedule Frequent Chimney Inspections
As the winter season ends, you need to inspect your chimney before discontinuing use for your chimney. Cracked flue liner and defects are not apparent to the inexperienced eye; therefore, you should call for the services of a chimney sweep to inspect your venting system and fireplace annually. These professionals are well-experienced and can inform you of any repairs and fixes needed to remove soot, creosote, or obstructions from your chimney.
Install a Chimney Cap
If touched by the loose embers, natural materials and nests inside your chimney flue can cause a chimney fire. A chimney cap prevents debris from getting into flue and keeps any birds and insects away. Rainwater and snow can also not enter the chimney with a chimney cap keeping your chimney safe from rusting or back puffing.
Go for Clean Burning Techniques
Low-temperature fires that burn slowly leave behind more combustible and unburned materials. As it hardens into creosote, it becomes a greater risk than the low amount of residue left behind by fast-burning fires. The best method of burning a clean fire is to place larger pieces of wood vertically at the bottom of the fireplace before placing smaller and lighter pieces of wood. It is best to extinguish the fire whenever you are going to sleep, with a poker and the ash lying at the bottom of a fireplace.
Contact STOP Restoration of Spokane!
If you have been the victim of a chimney fire or a fire at your home, you need expert fire damage restoration services to restore the original look and safety of your home. STOP Restoration of Spokane is experienced in attending to residential and commercial sites after a large fire and clearing it of ash, smoke, and soot. Call us now at (509) 818-7744 to request our professional fire damage restoration services or visit our website for more information.