What are Chimney Fires?
Chimney fires are caused by the combustion of a build up of deposits within a flue. These can be caused by tar and creosote deposits from the flue gasses cooling within the flue, or through the deposition of nest materials by birds such as jackdaws.
What happens in Chimney Fire?
The deposits within the flue be ignited either by a spark or ember travelling up into the flue, or if an appliance is used at too high a temperature. Once the deposits are ignited they wil start to burn and often sparks and flames can be seen leaving the head of the chimney.
What damage do Chimney Fires cause?
Chimney Fires can have devastating consequences. If the fire breaches the flue it can quickly spread to the rest of the property. Even if the fire is contained within the flue temperatures can reach in excess of 1000°C and as a result structural damage to any flue or liner is common.
What should you do?
If at any time you suspect you are having a chimney fire you should immediately call the Fire Brigade. Even if you feel the fire has gone out, it could still re-ignite and the flue should be checked for any hot spots.
Manufacturers advise that a stainless steel flue should always be replaced after any chimney fire. As a result of the thermal shock any flue and liner can crack and become unsafe and it should be checked after any fire to ensure it is still safe. Additionally, if smoke can be smelt within the property during a chimney fire, this is an indication that the flue has been breached and is unsafe to re-use.
Finally always have your chimney swept regularly to ensure that deposits of tar and debris do not build up within the flue.