Most chimney fires are preventable. Regular inspection and cleaning of chimney flues will help prevent fires within chimneys.
The latest statistics show that there are approximately 7,000 chimney fires a year in E…ngland, but most of these are preventable.
To keep yourself and your family safe from fire you should take care to have your chimney swept regularly, depending upon what fuel you burn, before the colder winter months set in and you begin to use your fire and chimneys again.
If the worst should happen, a smoke alarm can give you the extra time you need to escape in a house fire – make sure you test yours regularly.
Regular maintenance of your chimney will depend on the fuel you burn:
•Oil – Once a year
•Gas – Once a year
•Bituminous – coal Twice a year
•Wood – Up to four times a year depending on the quality of wood burnt
•Smokeless coals – At least once a year
The most common causes of chimney fires are:
-Improper appliance sizing
-Burning unseasoned wet wood
-Infrequent sweeping and cleaning
-Overnight burning or smouldering wood for long periods in wood stoves without correct maintenance
-Incorrect installation of appliance
-Obstruction within the flue igniting with a single spark (debris or birds nest, etcetera)
It is recommended that these measures are taken to help reduce the risk of chimney fire:
-Chimneys must be swept on a regular basis this can be as much as three times in the burning season (winter) but at least once per season regardless of fuel type
-All wood burned must have a moisture content of no more than 20 per cent
-It is important to purchase the correct size appliance for your room as an appliance which is too large will never be used hot enough to volatize all of the fuel within the wood and unburned fuel will pass up the chimney as smoke and condense within the flue as extremely flammable creosote
It is important when using a multi fuel stove that you control the burning of the appliance by the air inlets provided for this purpose, not using dampers which could obstruct the safe passage of exhaust from being able to exit the appliance. Remember, a blocked flue can kill and the exclusion of air will put out a fire.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning (CO)
All chimneys and flue-ways should be cleaned and checked during the summer months to ensure they are free from debris and in full working order before the heating season. A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisonings so it’s very important to employ a professional qualified Chimney Sweep who will also check your appliance to ensure it is in perfect working order
And if you have had a chimney fire remember that the temperature within the flue can reach up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit which is sufficient to crack the flue linings. Never use a flue after a chimney fire until it has been safety checked by a professional.
Myth: “A good chimney fire cleans the flue”. Not so. Nonsense in fact. “A good chimney fire” can DESTROY the flue lining and there are inevitably combustible materials against stacks in houses. When the flue liner has been compromised, these combustibles can slowly smoulder and ignite.
Call us today to book in your chimney sweep and stove maintenance check on