Chimney Fires Are a Real Threat - Ensure Your Chimney’s Ready for the Cooler Weather

Posted on Friday October 20, 2017
Oct.20, 2017
Chimney Fires Are a Real Threat
Ensure Your Chimney’s Ready for the Cooler Weather
Gravenhurst, ON - The promise of cooler fall weather in the forecast has local firefighters reminding everyone about the necessity to clean and maintain chimneys during the heating season. “We typically see a rise in the number of chimney fires as cooler weather sets in, and while some of these are easily controlled, some can cause extensive damage if the chimney isn’t properly constructed or maintained,” said Rob King, fire prevention officer.
Chimney fires usually result when the flue hasn’t been properly or regularly cleaned and deposits of highly flammable creosote build-up inside the chimney. Creosote forms as the hot gases from a wood fire rise up a chimney flue and begin to cool and condense on the inside surfaces of the chimney. “This build-up can ignite at any time causing an intense fire inside the chimney, and if the flue is cracked or not properly built in the first place, a potentially dangerous fire can occur,” said King. Fires can extend to the home or structure as well, frequently in attics or inside other concealed spaces which may not be noticed right away.”
King recommends that chimneys be cleaned and inspected at least annually by a Wood Energy 
Technology Transfer (WETT) certified technician, more often if the appliance is used regularly. “Having smoke and carbon monoxide alarms of course are necessary, but the addition of a home fire extinguisher is a good addition to your family’s emergency plan. Discharging the extinguisher in the firebox and up towards the flue from the bottom can slow down a fire and maybe even extinguish it completely.  Dialing 9-1-1 should always be one of the first actions when a fire in your chimney is discovered,” said King.  For more information about preventing chimney fires or any fire prevention matter, contact Rob King,  fire prevention officer at 705-687-3414.
For additional information, please contact:
Larry Brassard
Chief - Gravenhurst Fire Department