How to Prevent Chimney Fires

If you have a fireplace or wood stove in your home chances are good that you might experience a chimney fire. They are extremely common, but they are, however, very preventable. The most common cause of a chimney fire is the build-up of a substance called creosote in the inside of the chimney liner or stove pipe.

chimney fires

This highly flammable substance is the byproduct of the wood burning process and it coats the inside surfaces of the chimney and if not remove properly, it will continue to build up and present a definite fire hazard. There are several things you can do to help prevent yourself from experiencing the potential disaster from a major chimney fire by doing these five things.

5 Important tips to follow to prevent a potential chimney fire

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. This will prevent the buildup of creosote and possibly avoid a dangerous fire. The more frequently you inspect your chimney for the buildup the less likely you are to a surprise chimney fire.

Burn only dry, seasoned wood  – You should never burn wood that is still wet or unseasoned. The drier the wood the less likely it will cause a buildup of creosote. Be sure to let any new wood chopped or purchased to be burnt in your fireplace dry out for good amount of time before you go to use it. This will go along ways to prevent an untimely or surprise chimney fire.

Select only hardwood for your firewood – To help you reduce the amount of creosote that is able to accumulate inside the liner of the chimney or stove pipe, you should always choose a species of trees that produces a hard, dense wood to use for your firewood. The harder the wood you use in the fire, the hotter the fire will burn and there will be less creosote produced.

Burn a hot fire regularly – Since creosote is produced as a by-product of the burning of the wood in the fireplace or wood stove you help to prevent the excessive production of creosote by ensuring that the fire is hot enough. By maintaining an air temperature inside the fireplace or wood stove between 275-degrees and 575-degrees is within the burn zone, which lowers that production of creosote.

Use a creosote removing powder – Fortunately for every home that has a fireplace or wood-burning stove, there is a secret weapon that works extremely well against creosote. The compound is curiously enough called creosote removing powder and it works like magic. This powder works at the molecular level and helps to rid your chimney liner and stovepipe of the highly flammable creosote build up.