Reducing the Chance of Chimney Fires

by Doris Donnerman
(last updated January 31, 2018)

If you own a fireplace you should be keenly aware of the risk of having a chimney fire. Chimney fires can be extremely dangerous and very frightening. The chimney creates an atmosphere for the flames of a fire to become explosive and unpredictable, these two elements create danger for the safety of your family and your home.

As wood burns in your stove or fireplace, the byproducts (smoke, carbon monoxide, etc.) stick to the inside of the chimney and create a film referred to as creosote. This film is very flammable, hence the danger of chimney fires. This article discusses how to reduce your risk of experiencing a chimney fire and how to put it out if one happens to occur.

Here are five things you can easily do to reduce your risk of a chimney fire:

  • Use extremely dry wood, sometimes referred to as "seasoned wood." The more moisture that is in your wood, the thicker and heaver the smoke becomes and the greater the chance of creosote buildup.
  • Rather than building large, very dense fires, build small fires with less wood. Working with less wood can help reduce the amount of smoke emitted by the fire, ultimately lessening the amount of creosote formed on the inside of the chimney.
  • Try to avoid burning trash, paper towels, wrapping paper, cardboard, paper bags, etc. Burning materials other than wood can increase the chance of sparks that can cause chimney fires.
  • Monitor fire temperatures with a thermometer to make sure the fire does not burn too quickly and at too high of a temperature.
  • Search your yellow pages for a professional chimney inspector and cleaner. Have your chimney cleaned an inspected at least two times a year.

If, by chance, a chimney fire does start follow the basics of putting out a fire. First, evaluate the danger of the fire. Call 911 for backup from the fire department and then evacuate your family. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand to use just in case. Use buckets or hoses to try and limit the flames from spreading.

Remember that it is a lot more cost effective and simple to practice preventative methods than it is to fix fire damage and finance repairs.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...

MORE FROM DORIS

Help a Puppy to Sleep with a Hot Water Bottle

When a new puppy comes into your home, it can sometimes shake the household. Puppies take a lot of your time, and that ...

Discover More

Kerry Blue Terrier

Known for his extraordinary color, the Kerry Blue Terrier is of great physical beauty. He has been used for drawing ...

Discover More

Cleaning Nicotine Stained TVs

Anyone who smokes or works in a smoking area knows how difficult it is to keep nicotine from staining just about ...

Discover More

Cordless, Compact, and Powerful! DeWalt's 18-volt drill-driver kit packs a big punch in a small package, with a powerful high-performance motor tucked away inside a compact design. A great addition to the tool chest of any professional or DIYer! Check out DeWalt 18-Volt Drill/Driver Kit today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Troubleshooting Fire Alarms

Fire alarms are a necessary and essential element for a safe home. But what do you do when these vital safety devices ...

Discover More

Preventing Mold Growth

One of the greatest problems currently facing home owners is mold growth. Without taking proper care, mold growth can ...

Discover More

Check Your Smoke Detectors

Never remove the battery from a smoke detector without replacing it immediately. Some fail-safe smoke detectors are ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine more than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)