Tackling the cold weather, how to prevent Chimney Fires
Chimney cleaning is much like going to the dentist; it is something people tend to put off for as long as possible. Despite knowing too well the consequences of such actions annually just over 36% of homeowners get their chimney cleaned for the winter period. Irish Fire Services are called out to on average 110 chimney fires a week. The reality of chimney fires is that they can destroy interiors, cause structural damage and in some cases injure or even kill people. They burn explosively and violently with flames and smoke shooting out from both ends. They can fragment the chimney internally causing major problems down the line.
What causes chimney fires?
Chimney congestion is caused firstly by the build up of creosote. This is carbon based soot left behind when damp fuel is burnt. Often left to settle at the top of the chimney creosote is extremely flammable. Congestion can also occur when leaves, nests, twigs and rubbish get stuck in the flue of the chimney over extended periods where the chimney is not in use.
How can I prevent a chimney fire?
There are a number of measures that can be undertaken to prevent a chimney fire from occurring in your home.
- Burn at high temperatures
- Ensure fuel is properly dried
- Use hard woods
- Proper maintenance
Firstly, keep your fires burning at a high temperature. This will burn off as much creosote as possible. Next, choose the correct fuel to burn. Only use wood or turf that has been properly dried beforehand. This will ensure that the fuel burns at the appropriate temperature burning off any creosote. Only use hard woods that have been seasoned. Woods like oak or ash are brilliant for burning long and at high temperatures. The higher density the wood the easier it will be to maintain a high temperature in the fire.
How often should l clean my chimney?
To comply with safety regulations it is recommended that you clean your chimney twice a year.
The first clean should be after the summer months. This is to remove debris and soot from the previous year. The second clean should be done then during the winter period to ensure a fire does not occur.
Early prevention is the best solution to this problem. The department of Housing, Planning and Local Government advise using a professional chimney sweep for this.
Are you covered?
For competitive home insurance quotes talk to one our experts today, call Munstergroup Insurance 065 6841766