Is your chimney safe? Wondering what you should do to help protect yourself against fire?

Let us give you some basic information about chimneys, and some safety tips from the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

We know: All About Chimneys

How many different kinds of chimneys are there?

Basically two:

  • Masonry chimneys are usually built as part of the structure and are made of brick, blocks or stone.
  • Manufactured chimneys are made in a factory and assembled on the building site. They’re usually made from metal and come in various designs that are intended to help in the process of venting the heat safely.

What’s a chimney flue?

It’s a vertical passage way up the inside of your chimney. Each appliance connected to the chimney should usually have a separate flue.

What causes most chimney fires?

The most common causes of masonry and manufactured metal chimney fires are improper installation, improper maintenance and improper use of the chimney.

How can I help prevent a chimney fire in my home?

  • Make sure the chimney was installed correctly.
  • The chimney should not be too close to wood framing or insulation. The chimney or stovepipe should pass through the ceiling properly.
  • Check routinely for any structural damage to your chimney. For metal chimneys, look for corrosion or rusting of the chimney’s inner layers. Also look for buckling of the inner seam or collapsing of the inner lining. For masonry chimneys, look for cracks in the brick and the tile inner lining of the chimney. If your chimney does not have a inner liner, you should get one.
  • Check frequently (as soften as twice a month) for creosote and soot build up. If you see it, hire a chimney sweep to remove it.
  • Have annual chimney inspections and cleanings.

Any new safety features of products I should be aware of?

The Consumer Products Safety Commission says: "Advance wood stove designs appear to provide more complete combustion of the fuel. Catalytic combustors appear to achieve similar results, and are available with new stoves or as separate components which can be installed between the flue gas exit and the chimney connector of existing stoves."

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