The standard chimney inspection with a cleaning from a sweep costs about $150 to $350. Your wood needs to be dry throughout before you add it to your fire. This happens when the fire isn’t hot enough, or your chimney is too short. Fortunately, if you practice the prevention tips here, that hard-working column above your fireplace or wood stove should continue to do its job of ushering smoke and other by-products out of your home, so you and yours can safely enjoy cozying up in front of the flames. The easiest way to prevent chimney fire is by having the chimney professionally cleaned every year, especially if you burn pine or other resinous woods. A strong draft will carry the airborne debris to the outside. THE PURPOSE OF A CHIMNEY. Unseasoned, or green, wood is the main cause of creosote buildup, so the easiest way to reduce the chances of a chimney fire is to use well-cured wood. Chimney maintenance is always less expensive than repair. Build Small Fires. A blazing fireplace is an ideal solution to that problem. There’s nothing like a warm fire on a chilly winter night. Check for any soot buildup and remove it, clean the interior of your fire place, inspect the chimney and its cap, and consider using fire screens to help keep any lit fires inside your fireplace. Creosote is fuel for chimney fires, and if it ignites, the heat may be much higher than your chimney can withstand. So it’s essential to be sure you have adequate coverage. Consider keeping a chimney fire extinguishing product on hand. And if your chimney’s flue liner (the layer between the flue and chimney walls) is uninsulated, it’s recommended to insulate it by either wrapping a heat-resistant insulation blanket around the liner or pouring an insulation mix like vermiculite (available at hardware stores and on Amazon for $10 and up) into the space between the flue liner and flue. And, before retiring for the night, always extinguish the fire: Spread out the wood and embers with a fireplace poker, then cover them with the ash lying at the bottom of the fireplace using a fireplace shovel. Sweeping chimneys can help to avoid very serious problems like chimney fires. Fill the metal container with water and store it outside the home away from other flammable materials until you’re ready to discard them. Some people have described a sound like a plane taking off. Regular chimney inspections and cleanings help prevent fires … Accidents happen even with chimney safety protocols in place. This substance can coat the glass on your fireplace and stick to your chimney flue’s walls. According to the annual report produced by the Department for Communities & Local Government, there were 7,700 chimney fires … Getting chimney liners installed is important for several reasons. When you aren’t using the fireplace, keep the damper closed. Part of caring for your home is being ready to handle damages when they occur. Because many defects that lead to chimney fires, such as a cracked flue liner, aren’t visible to the naked eye, it’s crucial to have a Chimney Safety Institute of America-certified chimney sweep inspect your fireplace or woodstove, chimney, and venting system once a year. Chimney fires occur when creosote and / or soot inside the chimney catch alight. For chimney fires, the fuel is the creosote and the match is an overly hot fire in … Get enough seasoned wood to last through this winter. It can even deter the occasional bird or bat that might find a way into your chimney. To minimize creosote build-up, only burn seasoned hardwood that has dried for at least six months and contains a moisture content of no more than 20 percent, which you can easily test with a wood moisture meter (available online and at hardware stores for $30 and up, like this General Tools option on Amazon). You want the maximum draft to pull airborne particles up and out of your house. Hardwoods like oak, ash, and elm are excellent firewood choices because they burn hotter and longer than softwoods. However, budget-conscious DIYers willing to get up on a ladder can also clean their chimney without professional help by using a wide chimney brush. Thick, dense smoke may push down the chimney and into the house. Regularly clean your fireplace of ash from prior fires. Chimney fires cause property damage and put lives at risk every year. Level 1 ($75 to $250) includes a check of readily accessible parts of the fireplace or wood stove and chimney. It is much more straightforward to repair cracks in mortar joints or masonry than to replace a warped flue. They’ll check the flue walls and identify and address any potential problems. A chimney cap on the crown around the outside opening of the flue will keep debris and critters out. How Can You Prevent Chimney Fires? Not burning trash in a fireplace or woodstove. The effort of maintaining your fireplace chimney is a small price to pay to avoid chimney fires. It’s highly combustible, so if the temperature inside your chimney gets high enough, the creosote will catch fire. The importance of yearly chimney inspections and cleanings can’t be understated, as they are the one true way to minimize the likelihood of a chimney fire sparking in the first place. , can create a more massive fire than your structure can contain. Expect to spend anywhere from $50 for galvanized metal caps to $500 or more for decorative models. Split the wood to speed the drying process, and stack it off the ground in a single row to increase airflow. A small fire that burns well does not produce as much creosote as a large fire that … The bottom line is that dirty chimney’s cause chimney fires. Products to prevent chimney fires. Contact Lake Region Insurance Agency for a free review of your homeowners or other policies. Great people, very patient and quick ti get to you if they are busy! in Cokato, Willmar, or New London, MN, to get a quote today. They’ll check the flue walls and identify and address any potential problems. Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. When that hardens into creosote on the chimney walls, there’s an increased risk of chimney fires. Caps also prevent acidic rainwater from entering and corroding the chimney. An insulated flue liner will prevent flue temperatures from getting too cool—a condition that could encourage fire by-products to condense and form creosote. Find the best local pros and compare multiple quotes for your chimney or fireplace project. It is a layer of protection between the chimney walls and the fire. Lake Region Insurance Agency51 Main Street SNew London, Minnesota 56273, Lake Region Insurance Agency1690 1st Street SWillmar, Minnesota 56201, Lake Region Insurance Agency330 Broadway Ave SCokato, Minnesota 55321. Chimfex and Fire-Ex are products that work by quickly reducing the available oxygen in the flue to starve the fire. If you’re using it daily, like a wood … If your home contains a chimney and/or a fireplace, remember to inspect and maintain it regularly. You can find this simple tool for around $20 at your hardware store or online. According to the National Fire Protection Association, around 25 percent of all home-heating fires are caused by creosote buildup in chimneys – a serious statistic if you use wood to produce heat on a regular basis. Level 2 ($100 to $500) includes video scanning of internal chimney surfaces. Creosote is a thick, flaky residue that can coat the walls of the chimney. Contact. As independent agents, we access plans from many providers so that you can choose from the best options out there. But sometimes problems happen anyway. today for a free insurance review and policy quote. Fireplace safety: Keep a glass or metal screen in front of fireplace to prevent embers or sparks jumping out. Keep stocking your lumber a year ahead to continue the cycle. It closes off the fireplace when you don’t have a fire going, and swings up to open the flue when needed. Schedule an annual chimney inspection.. Because many defects that lead to chimney fires, such as a cracked flue... 3. As the article suggests, it is a good idea to keep a chimney fire extinguisher, such as Chimfex on hand. Part of caring for your home is being ready to handle damages when they occur. Hire a chimney sweep to perform this maintenance service so you know it’s done safely and correctly. This pro will inform you of any damage and, if desired, repair it as well as remove soot, creosote, or obstructions such as bird nests. for a free review of your homeowners or other policies. A chimney fire occurs about 22,000 times a year in the United States, so homeowners need to monitor this. The chimney that’s connected to your fireplace or wood burning stove has a critical job. Not allowing your fire to smolder. And chimney fires damage structures, destroy homes and can seriously injure or kill people. Wet wood equals more smoke and less heat. Contact. This highly... 2. At the same time, get unseasoned wood for the following winter. You’ll hear a sound like a large bonfire coming from the chimney. While some homeowners opt to put in a chimney cap themselves, self-installation may void the warranty—it may be worth it to call a pro. So stay on top of your chimney’s servicing needs to keep your home safe and avoid costly repairs. And remember to always keep the damper (a metal plate in the flue that regulates the draft) open during a fire to maintain adequate airflow. A weaker one will deposit soot and creosote on your chimney’s walls. As a result, this causes a fire to break out inside your chimney. The good news is chimney fires can be prevented. But adding too much wood at one time can create a blanket over the flames. You love your home and take good care of it. But did you know that your fireplace ambiance comes with a maintenance requirement? This will prevent the buildup of creosote and possibly avoid a dangerous fire. Make sure to open the damper when you light a fire. To avoid a wet flue, have a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) install a chimney cap (e.g., Shelter Galvanized Steel Chimney Cap, $39.90 on Amazon). So it’s essential to be sure you have adequate coverage. The heat can transfer through the fireplace to the surrounding, non-fireproof parts of your home. “Sometimes, people don't do the maintenance of keeping their fireplace clean, especially the flue,” said Jerry Craddock. Always stick to the best fire starters when selecting fuel, kindling, and tinder. Overfilling your firebox, known as over-firing, can create a more massive fire than your structure can contain. The hot air rising through the chimney flue creates a draft, which is like a vacuum that draws the smoke up the chimney. How Do I Purchase Private Health Insurance For My Family. The main culprit of chimney fires is creosote. The high water content also makes for a thicker, stickier smoke compound. Using accelerants is not a safe way to start a fire, as they are highly combustible and do not burn clean. However, proper chimney maintenance decreases the risk of these fires. A firefighter can make sure your home is safe. Chimfex and Fire-Ex are products that work by quickly reducing the available oxygen in the flue to starve the fire. The fact is that clean chimneys simply don’t catch fire. By Manasa Reddigari and Bob Vila. Contact Lake Region Insurance Agency today for a free insurance review and policy quote. That damage is largely due to flames in the lower chimney migrating upward to crack, warp, melt, or otherwise negatively affect the masonry or metal chimney walls. Your chimney removes smoke from your home while providing fresh air to feed the fire in the fireplace. Inspections and cleaning by your local chimney sweep can make sure creosote is not actively building up, limiting the release of smoke and other gases. First, a chimney liner could be necessary in helping a chimney pass inspection. Level 3 ($1,000 to $5,000) includes Level 1 and Level 2 inspection. They occur when the creosote is hot enough to burn, but there isn’t enough to cause a big blaze. Do not burn paper in your fireplace. Not only can damaged chimneys spread fire throughout your home but build up of soot and creosote can catch fire within your chimney. RELATED: 14 Bad Habits That Could Burn Your House Down. Hot, fast-burning fires, on the other hand, leave far less smoke, vapor, and unburned wood behind, so little to no creosote forms. Wait until the ash is cool and be sure to store in a fire-safe container such as a metal bucket. Consider keeping a chimney fire extinguishing product on hand. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. Keep reading to understand what causes chimney fires and the six best steps you can take for preventing them. What Should I Do If I Have a Chimney Fire? Lake Region Insurance Agency Provides Auto / Car Insurance, Home Insurance, Business / Commercial Insurance, and Life and Health Insurance to All of Minnesota, Including New London, Willmar, and Cokato. Keep your wood stack in a sheltered area or cover it in wet weather. The first time you light up your fireplace there is a chance for a fire to spark if there are complications left over from the previous winter, such as a build up of creosote. If your wood is wet or not fully cured, it will not burn as hot as dry wood. If you think you had or have a chimney fire, even a small one, always call 911. The cap will also prevent “back puffing,” whereby escaped smoke from a fire re-enters the chimney and then the home. Hot, smoky air rises through the center of the chimney, the flue, and out of your house. Homeowners report being startled by a low rumbling sound that reminds them of a freight train or a low flying airplane. If you aren’t sure whether your wood is dry enough to use, measure it with a moisture meter. To prevent this danger from ever occurring, follow these 7 tips to avoid a chimney fire from ever happening in your home. Ways to Prevent Chimney Fires Install a Chimney Liner. How To Prevent Chimney Fires It is recommend by all experts to have your chimney serviced and cleaned prior to the cold season when it will be getting a lot of use. There are more than 25,000 chimney fires incurring $125 million-plus in property damage every year in the United States. The damper is a metal plate in the chimney that controls the air supply to your fireplace. The best way to burn a clean fire is to use the top-down burn method: Place the large logs vertically at the bottom of the fireplace or wood stove (with the bottoms of the logs facing you), add four to five horizontal layers of kindling, then top with tinder and light. A firefighter can make sure your home is safe. This highly flammable, dark brown substance coats chimney walls when by-products of a fire (smoke, vapor, and unburned wood) condense as they move from the hot fireplace or wood stove into the cooler chimney. • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year. Clean your fireplace and chimney. The wood you choose can affect the amount of creosote buildup on your chimney walls. You will see flames and burning pieces of creosote erupting from the top of the chimney. Clean chimneys don’t catch fire. Have your chimney serviced by a certified chimney sweep once a year. As independent agents, we access plans from many providers so that you can choose from the best options out there. If the temperature in the chimney flue (the space inside the chimney) is high enough, and the creosote build-up thick enough, creosote can catch fire—and that fire can spread and move up the flue. Have Your Chimney Inspected Annually – Annual chimney inspection can prevent chimney fires. If when you scratch a finger against a chimney wall and uncover one-eighth of an inch of build-up, it’s time for a cleaning. Manasa Reddigari, Bob Vila, 14 Bad Habits That Could Burn Your House Down, clean their chimney without professional help, 15 Handy Things You Can Do With Ashes from Your Fireplace, 10 Things You Never Thought to Keep in Your Car, 10 Things Never to Plug into a Power Strip. This situation creates a cooler, dirtier fire. Don’t Let the Good Fires Bring on a Bad One – by Dave Lamb – dave@mychimneys.com According to the latest statistics available, there are over 25,000 Chimney Fires per year in the US that are responsible for over 125 million dollars in property damage. Most chimney fires happen for one simple reason: improper usage and care of wood-burning appliances. A chimney liner is a great thing to prevent chimney fires. They also help to provide better air flow and better passage for the combustion process along with protecting the chimney walls form excessive smoke and heat. But it’s easy to avoid chimney fires and costly repairs by: Burning seasoned wood only. Your chimney won’t catch fire if it’s clean. Leaves and animal nests inside a flue can quickly fuel a chimney fire when touched by loose embers from a fire. Chimney liner kits can be purchased and installed by specialists, and they help ensure the longevity of a chimney that could be aging. He says chimneys should be inspected each year by a … The main culprit of chimney fires is creosote. A professional chimney cleaning costs between $100 and $350 and usually includes a sweep of the outside of the chimney along with the firebox, the smoke shelf, the smoke chamber above the firebox, the flue, and the flue liner. When chimney fires occur in masonry chimneys - whether the flues are an older, unlined type or are tile lined to meet current safety codes - the high temperatures at which they burn (around 2000' F) can "melt" mortar, crack tiles, cause liners to collapse and damage the outer masonry material. If you think you had or have a chimney fire, even a small one, always call 911. Annual inspection of your fireplace, stove, and chimney is an absolute must. Green wood burns much cooler than seasoned wood, and as a result the smoke is more likely to condense on the inside of the chimney and cause creosote buildup. Keep your chimney clean – It is extremely important and cannot be emphasized enough to have your chimney professionally cleaned at a minimum of once per year. In the most severe cases, chimney fires can destroy houses and put lives at risk. And then be sure to have a certified professional do a chimney inspection to check for damage. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a trusted, honest insurance agent. Then douse the cooled wood and embers with enough baking soda to cover them completely—the sodium bicarbonate will extinguish any remaining embers. Install a Chimney Cap to Help Prevent Fire These wood species are fine for a bonfire outdoors, but they burn up quickly and leave excess creosote on your chimney walls. ...they find what policy you need and are very pleasant while doing so. These tragedies are often preventable: Failure to regularly inspect, repair, and clean a chimney can cause it to malfunction or collect dangerous build-up that puts your family at risk. But did you know that over 40% of house fires in Ireland are caused by a chimney catching fire? A chimney sweep is the best solution, and homeowners should considering getting one on an annual basis. To avoid a disaster in your house, keep the following tips in mind. This creosote coating is highly flammable and, given enough heat, will ignite causing a chimney fire. If the fire is contained within the flue system, move on to chimney fire-specific extinguishment methods. Make sure a professional chimney sweep inspects your solid fuel venting system annually, and sweeps and repairs it whenever needed. in the United States, so homeowners need to monitor this. The biggest thing that you can do to prevent chimney fires is to have your chimney inspected by a professional every year and cleaned as needed. Use the proper ladders when it is required to access the roof. The best way to prevent a chimney fire is to have an annual inspection performed by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. Resinous woods leave a byproduct, called creosote, behind in the chimney when they burn. This habit will help to insulate your home from outside temperatures. 6 Ways to Stop Chimney Fires Before They Start 1. Slow-burning chimney fires are common. There are only two ways to prevent chimney fires: take away the fuel and take away the match. Murphysboro Fire Chief Steve McBride says the fire department responds to at least two chimney fires a year. MENTOR, Ohio — As you relax in front of your fireplace and enjoy the warmth it provides, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is how clean your chimney is. Learn how to prevent chimney fires below. Copyright © 2020 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. The heat can transfer through the fireplace to the surrounding, non-fireproof parts of your home. Freshly-cut trees or branches contain sap, and it takes 6-12 months for logs to dry out completely. Put ashes in a metal container with a lid, outside, at least 3 feet from your home. But sometimes problems happen anyway. Use the Right Firewood. Season your firewood by stacking it outside and letting it sit for at least six months. If you’re just starting, look for wood that is already seasoned. However, those are only the chimney fires you know about. The best way to keep a chimney fire from happening is to prevent the build up of creosote and here are a couple of products that can aid you in that effort. How? After the firebox cools (for a minimum of three hours, but preferably eight), shovel the ashes into a metal container. © Copyright 2020, Lake Region Insurance Agency | Privacy Statement | Login. You love your home and take good care of it. Chimfex puts chimney fires in as little as 22 seconds. There are three levels of chimney inspections: Consult your chimney sweep company about which inspection level is recommended for your chimney and venting system. Use dry wood. It’s so tempting to poke, prod, and add more wood to your crackling fire. Sometimes these fires burn themselves out, but they still can damage the chimney. By the time you need it next year, your wood will be ready. Avoid softwoods like fir, pine, and cypress. It can line the chimney and flue over time, and under the proper conditions, it can ignite. Chimney Fires Can Be Prevented. are products that work by quickly reducing the available oxygen in the flue to starve the fire. once a year. Consider keeping a chimney fire extinguishing product on hand. Visit us in Cokato, Willmar, or New London, MN, to get a quote today. To avoid a disaster in your house, keep the following tips in mind. Chimney fires are often the result of defects and damage to your chimney and a chimney inspection can detect areas which need attention, though they may not be … Accidents happen even with chimney safety protocols in place. Having your fireplace and chimney cleaned once each year will help to eliminate fire hazards due to creosote and other materials, like pine needles, leaves, and animal nests. Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires, which damage or destroy homes and injure people. Happens when the fire a bonfire outdoors, but there isn ’ catch. Creosote build-up in your home draft, which is often the start of chimney fires remaining.. Habits that could be aging ’ s nothing like a large bonfire coming from best! Independent agents, we access plans from many providers so that you choose! 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