If you have ever seen a chimney fire you will agree that it is a sight you will not forget: a twisting spout of flame shooting dozens of feet up into the air. The term “blow torch” is often used to describe it because that is essentially what happens. The easiest way to prevent this is regular chimney cleaning.
What Causes a Chimney Fire?
The primary cause of fireplace chimney fires is burning wood that is high in resin (sap) content: soft woods like pine, fir, spruce or cedar. This resin does not burn completely and a gummy substance called creosote builds up on the inside of the chimney. A particularly vigorous fire, where flames enter the chimney, can ignite this creosote.
Primary Danger of a Chimney Fire
The primary danger is that this fire can burn through your chimney and get into the framing of your home, setting it aflame. Another is that embers can settle on your roof, trees, or lawn (or those of your neighbors) and set off more fires.
Preventing Chimney Fires
If you must burn soft woods, it is particularly important to have your chimney cleaned and inspected regularly. It is important that your chimney is kept clear of creosote as well as any excess ash and soot that tend to build up.
To reduce the frequency of chimney cleaning, burn hardwoods or use a high-efficiency wood stove rather than a fireplace. And when it’s time for a chimney cleaning, call our team at Fiddler on the Roof Chimney Service.