Most chimney fires are preventable.
They are usually due to:
Lack of sweeping and cleaning
Wrong fuel use.
What happens when a chimney goes on fire?
When a chimney goes on fire, the temperature inside the chimney can go higher than 1000 degrees Centigrade.
This high temperature can damage the entire structure of the chimney, such as causing cracks in the lining or the masonry.
And that's not all... during and after the fire, burnt soot, creosote and tar can collect, usually on bends, and cause partial or complete blockages. This can make fumes spill into the room.
Chimney fires do not burn away all the debris in the chimney. So if you light a fire afterwards there could be devastating consequences.
People will tell me that they have had a chimney fire so their chimney does not require sweeping but this is a dangerous belief, as the following story will show...
About ten years ago my sister had a chimney fire (I would like to point out she lives over 200 miles away and I don't sweep her chimney)!
She called the fire brigade, who before leaving advised not lighting the fire until the chimney had been swept. She ignored them and a few hours later lit a fire and fell asleep in front of her open fire.
Reignited or burning soot fell down the chimney, bounced off the hearth on to her legs. She was wearing synthetic, tight trousers that melted into her legs causing 'full thickness burns' that required skin grafts. Two years later she was still visiting hospital.
So if you have a chimney fire make sure you have the chimney checked, cleaned and tested by a certified chimney sweep - before you use it again!
Often the best ways of checking after a chimney fire is by or CCTV camera inspection.
We do work in the following areas:
Lanarkshire North and South, Glasgow, Edinburgh, West Lothian, Mid Lothian, Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway.