Keeping the Home Fires Burning…Safely

There’s nothing more enjoyable on a cold winter night than to light a fire in the fireplace. But, if your fireplace and chimney haven’t been cleaned or inspected for a few years, you could be putting your family and your home in danger.

Chimney fires are major threats posed by inadequate maintenance to chimneys and fireboxes. As fires burn, they generate smoke and, as the smoke rises up the chimney, it comes into contact with the relatively cooler interior of the chimney where some of the smoke condenses – like steam on a glass of cold water. The resulting condensed smoke is called creosote. Creosote is a black or brown gummy-like substance that builds up on the interior of the chimney. Once a sufficient amount of creosote builds up, it can catch fire. The resulting chimney fire can range from being barely noticeable to being so dramatic that it sounds like a low flying jet.

The danger with chimney fires comes from the extremely high temperatures they generate, which can severely damage the chimney flue tile or liner, and even ignite nearby burnable surfaces. The first fire in a chimney may not even be noticed or, if noticed, may instill a false confidence in the owner. In many cases, the first chimney fire can cause cracks and loosen mortar joints that then provide the next fire with an avenue to reach the roof timbers and other combustible materials. Typically, chimney fires that spread to the rest of the house do so very quickly and can consume the entire house before being brought under control.

How can you enjoy the beauty and warmth of a fire in the fireplace, without the hazards discussed above? Follow these tips:

  1. Burn only well-seasoned firewood. Green firewood releases more moisture, creating more creosote.
  2. Have your chimney and fireplace professionally cleaned and inspected – annually if used frequently, semiannually for occasional use. Have any needed repairs performed promptly.
  3. Make sure you have smoke detectors with fresh batteries and, if over 10 years old, replace them.

Stay tunes for more tips along the way from Chimney Keepers serving the Raleigh, Cary, Garner, and surrounding area of NC.

 

 

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  • Carl’s Corner

    Carl Newton: WolfPack Fan,
    Carolina Hurricanes Fan,
    Carolina Panthers Fan

    Winter is upon us this traces of snow some 20 days before Christmas so no telling how this one will go. The warm stuff seem to stay around for a while and it will get cold at some time.

    As we head into the holiday season we wish you all Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Carl

    PS, If you have gotten a quote for chimney repairs, ie.. you need a chimney liner -liner work, parging smoke chamber etc. or you might burn your house down stuff, that seem HIGH give us a call and let see what we can do for you.

  • Woodburning and gas burning fireplaces. Are they ready for winter.

    Is your Fireplace or Gas Logs ready to go.. If not or for a service give us a call.

    In a power outage a fireplace or gas logs may be your only form of heat so make sure they are working in top form. Give us a call to set up appt 919-772-8110

    have a good week
    Carl

    PS: if you do NOT have a Carbon Monoxide detector and you have gas logs.. GET ONE.. NOW... I recommend the combo CO / Smoke battery powered detectors at Lowe's Home depot or most hardware stores..

    If yours are over 10 yrs old replace it.. (there's a date on back) If there is not a date of manf on back GET rid of it.

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