If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (860) 649-0836

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Build a Safer Fire

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

A fire burns in a fireplace. To help prevent a chimney fire, follow our tips to build a fire that burns safely and cleanly.

Each year in the U.S. more than 25,000 chimney fires occur, resulting in more than $125 million in property damage. The most dramatic chimney fires can make sounds like guns being fired and trains running through your home! Sadly, the damage can be dramatic, too, as flames can shoot through the walls of your chimney to light your home on fire.

The primary cause of a chimney fire is not doing regular cleanings and inspections of your chimney. When you burn a fire, a substance called creosote condenses onto the walls of the chimney. Whether it’s sticky or solid or flaky, this black or brown deposit adhering to your chimney’s interior is extremely flammable. If you allow it to build up to a layer more than ¼ inch thick, you are in need of a cleaning. Hire a certified chimney sweep to remove creosote and organic debris from your chimney. The sweep will also inspect your chimney for any signs of damage.

You should have your chimney cleaned and inspected each year in the fall or late summer, before fire-burning season. You’ll also want to do more frequent cleanings if you burn:

  • More than two fires a week
  • A lot of artificial logs
  • Green or unseasoned firewood

Build a Safer Fire

The way you set up your fireplace or wood stove and the type of fuel you use makes a big difference in how safely your fires burn. Follow these guidelines to build and burn clean, hot fires that don’t create a lot of creosote.

  • Keep the damper open to allow enough air to quickly move heated smoke up the chimney
  • Don’t overload the firebox of a wood
  • Always burn seasoned hardwood (dried for at least six months)
  • Use well-seasoned hardwood or Chimney Safety Institute of America-approved logs for fuel, kindling and tinder
  • Build a clean fire by using the top-down burn method, with the largest logs at the bottom and the smallest pieces at the top
  • Use dried twigs or branches for kindling and torn or crumpled newspaper or pine cones for tinder

Put the Fire Out Safely, Too

After you’ve enjoyed your fire, extinguish it safely and thoroughly.

  • Spread out the wood and embers with a fireplace poker, then cover them with ash from the bottom of the fireplace 
  • Cover the cooled wood and embers with baking soda to extinguish any remaining embers
  • Let the firebox cool for at least three and up to eight hours
  • Place the ashes into a metal container, fill the container with water and store it outside your home and away from other flammable materials

Sources: Chimney Safety Institute of America, Bob Vila

If you’ve suffered fire damage to your home or business, call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield today at 860.649.0836

We’re Here for You

The team at SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster and storm damage cleanup, water damage remediation and chemical cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield (860.649.0836) any time.

Other Helpful Blog Posts

SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how you can protect your home and business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

Avoid Home Heating Fires This Winter

Escape a House Fire (Part 1): Have a Plan

Escape a House Fire (Part 2): Practice Your Plan

Fire Restoration Fundamentals

SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield
53 Slater Street, Unit 2, Manchester, CT 06042
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.649.0836
24-hour emergency service

If you’ve suffered fire damage to your home or business, call SERVPRO of Manchester/Mansfield today at 860.649.0836

Other News

View Recent Posts