There’s nothing more relaxing on a cold evening than starting a fire in the fireplace. Many homes have a fireplace as the focal point of the main living space, with the chimney adding visual interest on the home’s exterior. Chimneys and fireplaces require regular cleaning and inspection to prevent chimney fires — many of which go undetected until they become disastrous.
ServiceMaster of Baltimore is here to help prevent disaster cleanups, not just handle them. Make sure you know how to properly care for your fireplace and chimney and don’t let disaster happen to you!
What is a Chimney’s Purpose?
While the fireplace is designed to contain a fire, the chimney’s job is to remove the byproducts of the fire. As the fire burns, the chimney directs smoke, water vapor, and other gases up and out of the home. You might be surprised to learn that the chimney is a sophisticated system constructed to keep you safe and control the fire burn process.
How to Recognize A Chimney Fire
Due to the temperature difference between the fireplace and the chimney, especially in colder weather, the smoke can condense and stick to the inside of the chimney. This buildup is called creosote, which is a highly flammable substance that can cause both large fires and even a slow burn you may not even know about until it’s too late.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America lists several different indicators of a chimney fire. In many cases, the fire is noticed quickly due to the appearance of flames and low rumbling sounds prior to explosion. Here are a few of the signs of a hidden chimney fire:
- Cracks in the masonry with smoke escaping
- Cracked or collapsed flue tiles
- Heat damage to equipment attached to the chimney
- Roof damage from hot creosote
Preventing A Chimney Fire
The most effective way to prevent a chimney fire is to get it regularly inspected and cleaned before problems occur. There are some other steps you can take to prevent a chimney from becoming a fire hazard, such as:
- Only burn dry, seasoned wood
- Maximize airflow
- Avoid overloading the fire box with wood to extend burn time
- Only use CSIA-approved fire starter logs
A chimney fire can occur as an explosion or can burn without the homeowner knowing at all. Even a slight buildup of creosote, the highly flammable substance that builds up in the chimney, can pose a health and safety risk to you and your neighbors. Protect your family and your investment in your home by making sure your chimney is regularly inspected and cleaned.
Smoke and Fire Damage Cleanup in Baltimore, MD
Cleaning up after a chimney fire doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you’re dealing with a fire or smoke cleanup project, call the professionals at ServiceMaster of Baltimore. We can quickly restore your space and get you back in front of your cozy fireplace this winter.