If you are looking for a chimney sweep, you probably already know how important it is to have your chimney cleaned each year. That is just one very important step in preventing chimney fires when using fireplaces, wood burning stoves, pellet stoves or coal stoves. Do you know what else can be done to prevent and prepare for a fire in your chimney?
3 Actions to Prevent and Prepare for Chimney Fires
- Be selective with the wood that you burn. Only burn hardwoods that have been seasoned for at least one year. Seasoning occurs as the wood sits after being cut. As it sits, the moisture inside the wood dries out and decreases the amount of creosote that it produces when being burned.
- Clean the chimney yearly to remove built-up creosote, and insect and rodent nests that may have been built over the summer.
- Invest in extinguishing aids. You should have at least a few dry-chemical fire extinguishers, fire extinguishing sticks and dry-chemical bags on hand before you light your first fire of the season.
How to Make Your Own Dry-Chemical Bags
Dry-chemical bags are one of the first things that fire-fighters will turn to in order to stop a fire in a chimney from spreading. These bags are tossed down the chimney. Once they come into contact with the flames or high temperatures, they release the dry-chemicals from inside the bag and extinguish the fire. You can make your own dry-chemical bags to aid in the extinguishing of any chimney fires you may experience.
You will need:
- Dry-chemical fire extinguisher
- Dry-chemical fire extinguisher blow-out bag
- Seal-able freezer bags – 1 gallon or smaller
- Safety glasses, gloves and a mask
- Plastic scoop or ladle
The first step to making the dry-chemical bags is to use the blow-out bag to release the chemicals from inside of the extinguisher. The blow-out bag allows for enough air-pressure to be released through the sides of it without releasing the chemicals that you need to make the bags.
While wearing the safety gear, place the nozzle of the extinguisher into the end of the bag. Pull the trigger and let the bag fill with the contents of the extinguisher.
Tip: You can use expired or soon-to-expire fire extinguishers for this project. To get them for less of a cost, try posting a want ad on your local classifieds website.
Now, use the plastic scoop to fill the seal-able freezer bags and seal them tightly.
Store some of the bags near the door that you will use to access the chimney and some at the fireplace or stove. You can use these bags to extinguish the fire inside the stove or fireplace if the temperatures get too high and begin putting your home at risk.
Preparing for and learning how to prevent chimney fires will help you to protect your home and your family. Talk with your local chimney sweep company like A1 Everlast Construction to learn more about what you can do to prevent chimney fires in your home.