An event that can damage structures, devastate a home, and injure or kill people, a chimney fire most often is the result of a dirty and neglected chimney. As the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) frankly states, “clean chimneys don’t catch fire.” While some chimney fires will make you aware of their presence, other chimney fires can be slow-burning and not as dramatic or even visible. Aelite Chimney Specialties would like to tell you more about chimney fires and their signs as well as what you should do if you believe your chimney has experienced a fire. A chimney that has been damaged by a chimney fire can endanger you, your family, and your home, which is why we feel it is so important to inform you of this hazard.
What are the indications of a chimney fire?
If you hear loud cracking with popping noises, see a lot of dense smoke, and smell an intense, hot odor, you are most likely experiencing a chimney fire. These can be dramatic and explosive so that you may seem flames shooting from your chimney. We have also heard customers say they heard a low, rumbling sound like a low-flying airplane. However, some chimney fires burn so slowly that they do not get enough air or fuel to become noticeable. This type of chimney fire can cause just as much damage as a visible fire because of the high temperatures it can reach.
What are the signs of a slow-burning chimney fire?
Whenever Aelite Chimney Specialties inspects a chimney, we look for nine specific signs of a chimney fire, as specified by the CSIA:
- Warped metal of chimney components, such as the damper and connector pipes
- Cracked, collapsed, and missing flue tiles
- Discolored or distorted chimney cap
- “Puffy” creosote
- Heat-damaged TV antenna attached to chimney
- Flakes and pieces of creosote on the roof or ground
- Damaged roofing material
- Cracks in the exterior bricks and mortar
- Evidence of smoke passing through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners
What do I do if I think I have experienced a chimney fire?
If you have heard rumbling and popping noises and have smelled a burning smoke odor, contact Aelite Chimney Specialties as soon as possible. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps can inspect and evaluate your chimney to look for signs of a chimney fire. If we find evidence of a chimney fire, we will make recommendations on how to bring your fireplace and chimney system back into compliance with safety standards. Every chimney fire situation is unique, but you could need a few flue liner tiles replaced, a new liner installed, or your complete chimney system rebuilt. We use safety as the number one priority when making these recommendations.
Do you think you have had a chimney fire in your home? Contact Aelite Chimney Specialties to schedule an appointment for an inspection today.