What to Do In the Event of a Chimney Fire From Our Cary Chimney Company

November 5, 2019

Regular chimney inspections, chimney cleanings, and repairs can all prevent chimney fires. However, what with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you might forget to schedule your chimney inspection; and there is always the possibility of an unforeseen accident. Below is more information on recognizing and controlling a chimney fire.

Recognizing a Chimney Fire

Possibly the only good thing about chimney fires is that they are not hard to recognize. In most cases, bright flames and sparks will shoot out of the chimney flue, much like fireworks on the 4th of July. In many cases, the noise and flames can attract the attention of neighbors or passers-by even before the homeowner is aware of the situation. Homeowners who have been present during chimney fires describe hearing loud cracking and popping noises, accompanied by heavy smoke. Sometimes, they report being startled by a low rumbling sound that reminds them of a freight train or a low-flying airplane.

With all this said, it’s possible for a chimney fire to burn slowly, in which case it will not cause such a noisy “show.” A slow-burning chimney fire doesn’t get enough air or have fuel to light up the sky, but the temperatures they reach are very high nonetheless, and they can cause just as much damage to the chimney structure — and nearby combustible parts of the house — as their more spectacular cousins.

How to Extinguish a Chimney Fire

In most cases, your best bet as a homeowner is to get to a safe distance, call 911, and let professional firefighters handle the job. However, there are some chimney fire extinguishment products that are safe for non-professionals to use, and which have a CSIA Accepted Product Status endorsement from the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

One such product is Orion Safety Products’ Chimfex. Like a road flare, the user simply lights the product and tosses it into the fire. Chimfex’s manufacturer claims that will suppress a fire in an average of 22 seconds by consuming any available oxygen in the flow path. The manufacturer also states that its product reduces chimney temperatures an average of 53 percent in two minutes.

Unlike Chimfex, Kidde’s FireEx chimney fire suppressant does not require ignition, and is simply thrown onto a burning fire. The manufacturer claims it will extinguishe a chimney fire in less than 2 minutes. The manufacturer does state that the user should attempt to eliminate any drafts by either closing doors (on the woodstove or insert) or covering the fireplace opening with fire retardant material. The suppressant comes packaged in airtight plastic for indefinite shelf life and zero chance of water damage.

Prevent Chimney Fires With Nexus Chimney Company in Apex

The best way to keep a chimney fire from happening is to prevent the buildup of creosote and other flammable materials inside your chimney. If you haven’t already, make sure to schedule your chimney inspection and cleaning with Nexus Chimney in Apex NC. Our chimney repair technicians can examine your chimney for any signs of damage or decay, remove creosote and flammable debris, and ensure the chimney cap and other elements are secure. To request a free estimate, click here.