Asked by: Adam Lutjens
home and garden home appliances

What do you do if you have a chimney fire?

Last Updated: 22nd January, 2020

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Anyone using an open-source of heat in their home should have a plan.
  1. Safety First. As soon as you are aware that the chimney is on fire, evacuate all family members and pets from the building, and call the fire department.
  2. Put Out the Fire in the Grate.
  3. Use a Fire Extinguisher.

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In this regard, how do you know if you have a chimney fire?

You may detect:

  1. A loud, crackling or popping noise from the chimney flue (imagine the sound of a large bonfire)
  2. A lot of dense, thick smoke coming into the fireplace or out of the top of the chimney.
  3. Flames or things that are on fire (pieces of flaming creosote) coming from the top of the chimney.

Secondly, what happens if you have a chimney fire? Masonry Chimneys – A chimney fire can cause severe damage to the structure of the chimney. The walls may crack and the tile or clay liner pieces may break or even collapse from the high heat. A chimney fire can get up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and that is enough heat to even melt metals.

Subsequently, one may also ask, how do you put out a chimney fire?

Chimney sweep Never put water in a stove to put out a chimney fire it is extremely dangerous to do so. Your best bet is to shut the stove down all the way. The flares will work on a small fire but a fire extinguisher will work better. But again you are safer to just shut down the stove.

Will a chimney fire burn itself out?

Any combustion will cease when all the available fuel has been consumed. A flue fire will be extinguished when there is nothing left to burn. Flue fires rapidly reach temperatures in excess of 2000° F. The thermal shock caused by this rapid escalation of temperature will damage ceramic or clay flue liners.

Related Question Answers

Navin Radhabinod

Professional

Can you clean your own chimney?

In many cases, you can clean the chimney yourself and save a few hundred dollars. Removing ordinary chimney soot is pretty simple. But if you have heavy creosote buildup, you'll have to call in a pro. Otherwise, hire a certified chimney sweep.

Jinyan Moriones

Professional

How do you stop a chimney fire?

A few simple ways to help prevent a chimney fire are outlined below.
  1. Have Your Chimney and Fireplace Cleaned and Inspected Annually.
  2. Build Small Fires.
  3. Use Seasoned Wood.
  4. Never Use Paper or Combustible Liquids in the Fireplace.
  5. Use a Chimney Liner.
  6. Install a Chimney Cap.
  7. Ensure Good Air Supply.

Marcela Hannou

Professional

How often should you have your chimney cleaned?

How Often Should I get my Chimney Cleaned? This depends a lot on how much you use your fireplace or stove. The National Fire Protection Association says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances.

Ivelina Kazmierczak

Explainer

How do I know if my chimney needs to be cleaned?

The following signs indicate a chimney in need of a cleaning:
  1. Burned wood odors coming from the fireplace when it's not being used.
  2. Fires that seem to burn poorly or that dump a bunch of smoke into the room.
  3. A black damper. Since it sits right above the firebox, the damper is often the easiest thing to see and reach.

Neira Berlinda

Explainer

How likely is a chimney fire?

There are more than 25,000 chimney fires incurring $125 million-plus in property damage every year in the United States. 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.

Lois Bachelis

Explainer

Does burning salt clean a chimney?

Sodium Chloride
Put a little salt in the fire while it is burning. The salt combines with the water in the burning wood to create a weak acid that travels up the chimney and dissolves small amounts of creosote. This method should be used with care, however.

Le Ocerin

Pundit

How do I know if my chimney needs a liner?

How can I tell if my chimney has a liner? You can have it inspected by a chimney professional; or, if you're able, you can go up on the roof and check it out yourself. If you look down into your chimney and see only bricks and no clay tile, it is not lined.

Assma Heinschel

Pundit

Is soot flammable?

Soot refers specifically to the fine, black, carbonaceous (carbon-containing) particles produced by incomplete combustion of an organic material. Soot can contain carcinogenic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and is a flammable material, so treat it with respect!

Roca Andruhov

Pundit

Do potato peels clean chimneys?

Burning the potato peels will not eliminate all soot or creosote buildup, but they will reduce it. A normal and regular chimney cleaning is still needed to keep the fireplace working properly and safely.

Elody Gomollon

Pundit

Can you pour water on a fire in a fireplace?

While water can be used to put out a fireplace fire, it's not recommended. Not only does it take a lot of water to put the fire out completely, it also creates a huge mess that will need to be cleaned up later. In fact, trying to put out a fire like you would for an outdoor fire may give you the opposite results.

Calandra Marquillos

Pundit

Will steam put out a chimney fire?

That's the primary effect you want on a chimney fire when using this trick. The steam isn't removing the heat from the creosote burning in the chimney, it's smothering it.

Iudistira Solomo

Teacher

Does salt put out fire?

Cutting off the heat and the oxygen should put out the fire pretty fast. You can also put out a grease fire with baking soda or salt. Keep in mind that it takes a lot, so it only works for small fires. But make sure you don't grab anything else by mistake—baking powder and flour will both make the fire even worse.

Naufel Knecht

Teacher

Will a hot fire remove creosote?

A hot fire will burn out any creosote that may have formed overnight. They either burned the creosote before it could accumulate or kept the chimney temperature above 250ºF so that the smoke escaped without its gases condensing. The burn was controlled by the amount of wood in the stove.

Denes Ageikin

Teacher

Does a chimney fire clean the chimney?

Luckily, chimney fires are almost entirely preventable with regular maintenance – a clean chimney simply cannot catch fire. Having a yearly chimney sweeping will remove any creosote buildup in the flue. Even glazed creosote can be removed, allowing you to safely use and enjoy your fireplace.

Bartola Martha

Teacher

Can I burn pine in a fireplace?

Some believe that burning pine in fireplaces is safe as long as you routinely maintain your fireplace and watch your fire. Persons who burn pine also need to watch their fires carefully. If a fireplace has a low smoldering fire, it will cause thick smoke and a buildup of creosote.

Ayman Zumstein

Reviewer

What is an upside down fire?

An upside down fire, or a modified pyramid fire, starts with a base of big logs, with a rising framework of smaller logs and branches topped with kindling and tinder. As the kindling burns it ignites the level below it, leaving you free to prepare dinner or just sit back and enjoy the roaring campfire.

Timoteo Debenham

Reviewer

Does burning aluminum cans remove creosote?

One method to loosen crusty or tarry creosote so it flakes off and falls down into the firebox or fireplace is to burn aluminum cans in a very hot fire. While this method works, it does not clean the chimney of creosote completely, and chimney brush cleaning is still necessary.

Lalia Daniel

Reviewer

How long does a brick chimney last?

How long do chimney liners last? The answer to this question depends on the type of chimney liner you have. Clay tile liners and cast-in-place liners typically last around 50 years. Stainless steel flue liners generally last for 15 to 20 years (though low quality liners may not even last for five).

Terry Aristizabal

Reviewer

Why do houses have chimneys but no fireplace?

There are several reasons why a house could have a chimney without having a fireplace. The original brick utility chimney has been reused as the last part of the flue assembly for a newer gas furnace. If you look in the furnace closet, you will see the metal flue from the furnace entering the side of the brick chimney.