Each year before lighting that first toasty fire in your fireplace, it is important to hire a chimney sweeper to inspect the overall chimney for any damage. This is rule number one in safety for using a fireplace and chimney. However, sometimes abiding by all of the rules is still not enough and accidents will happen. That is why it is still always good to be prepared for what to do in case a chimney fire were to occur.
If you have a fireplace and chimney in your home and plan on using it, there are precautions that you should already have set up within the home. Following these methods will help to prevent a chimney fire and will help you think more clearly if a fire were to get out of hand.
- First, always have a fire extinguisher nearby.
- More helpful in case of a chimney fire is Chimfex. This product is used by chimney sweeps and is known for putting out chimney fires within one to two minutes.
- Keep your local firefighter’s department phone number somewhere within quick reach.
Now, these precautionary steps are all great and hopefully if you are using your fireplace regularly, you already know to follow them. In case of an actual fire, though, you need to also be prepared ahead of time to keep panic low.
Step 1: Call the fire department immediately. Even if you get the fire out before they arrive, it is important to have them check for any structural damage.
Step 2: Now, try to put out the fire. Use the Chimnex or hopefully another chimney flare fire extinguisher. You will light this like a road flare, throw it into the fire box, and then close the box.
Step 3: Close off air inlets to the stove. If you have glass doors, close the doors and vents, and if you have an open fireplace, close the vents. DO NOT CLOSE THE DAMPER!
Step 4: Go outside and spray water around the chimney. Do not spray water down the flue. It will only make a mess in your home. Also, if you have glass doors that are closed and add water, you will hear a horribly loud sound.
If you follow this advice you should be fully prepared if you ever have to deal with a chimney fire. Also, it is just as important to maintain a proper cleaning of your chimney and fireplace. There is nothing wrong with cleaning your chimney weekly to prevent a fire like this from happening. One definite plus would be to add creosote cleaning powder to your chimney regularly as one in four fires are attributed to this wood and coal leftovers.
Source: Chimney Pro