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How to Prevent Chimney fires
There are several things you can do to minimise the chance of a chimney fire.
Minimise creosote build up
Creosote is a by product of fire, and is a highly combustible substance that can accumulate within your chimney or flue pipe .
If temperatures subsequently get very hot, this can cause the substance to ignite. Creosote build up can be minimised by only burning seasoned hardwood that has dried for at least six months and has a moisture content of no more than 20 per cent.
Get your chimney swept regularly
For most appliances, a yearly inspection and sweeping is essential. If your appliance gets a great deal of use, it may be advisable to get it swept twice yearly.
Make sure you have a suitable chimney cowl
A chimney cowl will no only prevent debris getting in to the chimney, it will also prevent birds nesting (and nests can be flammable). The correct type of cowl will also help increase the draft efficiency of your chimney, which means gases are getting drawn out quickly without the chance to deposit flammable creosote or becoming too hot.
Use suitable materials to start your fires
Using suitable materials such as seasoned kindling or dried twigs will minimise the build up of combustible by products. Never use substances such as petrol or kerosene or similar liquid accelerants. Newspaper is fine to use, but materials such as glossy magazines, cardboard and cloth are not advised, as these can have additional chemicals which contribute towards creosote build up.
Use the correct fuel
Stoves are designed to suit particular types of fuel, so make sure you use the correct fuel for your stove. Using fuel such as coal in an appliance that is not designed for it, can be detrimental as it may cause the fuel to burn at a higher temperature than is optimal which in turn creates more combustible gases and by products.
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