How Does a Chimney Fire Happen?

By Doug Hetsch

January 25, 2017

Fire Safety

One of the most devastating events that can happen to your home is a chimney fire. Sometimes you will know when this happens. However, it is more common for a chimney fire to be smoldering without anyone knowing it is happening! How does a chimney fire occur? Also, how can you best prevent this hazard from happening? All American Chimney Service has been protecting the residents of Louisville, Kentucky from chimney fires for over 10 years. Now, we would like to tell you more about how to avoid this hazard from happening in your chimney.

What are the indications of a chimney fire in progress?

Some chimney fires are obvious. You may even see flames shooting out of the chimney. In addition, perhaps hear a low, rumbling sound like a train. Other chimney fires are not as dramatic. This is because they do not get enough air to be visible. Yet, they still create high enough temperatures to do enough damage to the chimney structure to be found in a later inspection.

What are the signs that my chimney has suffered from a fire?

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), chimney sweeps will be looking for warped metal components.

This includes:

  • the damper
  • discolored chimney cap
  • collapsed flue tiles
  • roofing materials warped from hot creosote
  • cracks in the exterior masonry
  • evidence of smoke escaping through mortar joints

There are also other signs to determine if your chimney hasexperienced a fire.

What causes a chimney fire?

The CSIA clearly states: “Clean chimneys don’t catch fire.” The leading cause of chimney fires is creosote. This is a natural residue from the combustion process of burning wood. Creosote sticks to the walls of your chimney. Consequently, if the internal temperature of your chimney gets hot enough, the creosote can easily ignite into flames. This substance is THAT highly flammable! That’s why you need to have your chimney professionally swept at least once a year. Only professional chimney sweeps can remove creosote from your chimney, which reduces your risk of chimney fires. When the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps from All American Chimney Service come to your home to sweep your chimney, we take great care to remove every bit of creosote! Your safety is our top priority, and we make sure that this fire hazard is gone from your chimney.

Keep your chimney from becoming a fire hazard.Contactus today at All American Chimney Service to schedule an appointment for your annual chimney sweeping and inspection!

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