Has your chimney experienced a dangerous flue fire that damaged your liner, cracked your masonry, and continues to put your family in danger? If you have not had a professional inspection, there is no way of knowing. Many homeowners only recognize visible problems with the chimney, but much of the system is hidden from view, and any amount of damage can cause a drop in efficiency and raise fire risk.

The Undiagnosed FireOld and dirty chimney catching on fire

When there is a fire in the chimney, it can happen without even being noticed, for a few reasons. 1) The fire happens quickly and goes out on its own because it burns up all the available fuel (creosote), or runs out of oxygen 2) There are no classic signs of a fire and few homeowners know the signs of a flue fire.

When a chimney fire occurs without the homeowner knowing, it can damage the liner and the masonry, creating cracks and gaps that become a hazard. The first fire may not cause a devastating house fire, but the damage sustained by the chimney can allow heat, flames, and gases to move from the chimney system and into the home when you light a fire in the fireplace or stove. This creates an unsafe and hazardous environment for your fire that puts your home and family at risk.

Signs of a Flue Fire

Called a flue fire or chimney fire, a fire that ignites inside the chimney system can go unnoticed, and can sometimes be very noticeable.
-Loud cracking and popping noises
-A lot of dense smoke
-An intense, hot smell
-Roaring in the fireplace
-Flames or dense smoke at flue opening

The subtle signs of a flue fire are the ones that are often ignored. A roaring sound in the fireplace or loud cracking or popping may be blamed on your firewood. Poorly seasoned firewood can crackle and pop as it burns out the moisture trapped in the wood and can also cause dense smoke, even in the fireplace itself. Very dry wood can burn too hot and too fast, causing an intense, hot smell, and a roaring in the chimney. If you hear these noises or witness dense smoke like this, you should be sure to check out the fireplace before assuming it’s normal. If your wood is so dry that it is burning at too high a temperature, you can also use the damper to control the flames.

Prevent Chimney Fires

A large percentage of chimney fires are preventable. It’s important to keep regular service appointments so that your system can be properly cleaned and professionally inspected annually. This will clean your system of flammable creosote and identify hazardous damage. You can also prevent a dangerous buildup of creosote by
*burning properly seasoned wood
*allowing proper airflow
*prime a cold chimney before lighting it

You can also avoid a chimney fire by insuring the system is safe for a fire. Schedule a chimney sweep or inspection with Chesapeake Chimney & Co and we’ll make sure your chimney system is ready for burn season.

Call 410-535-0052 or contact us online at chesapeakechimney@comcast.net.