Avoiding Flue Fires
Around 31,000 households per year in the UK suffer a flue fire through lack of or inadequate cleaning of their chimney flue. This could easily be avoided if regular periodic cleaning was carried out.
The main causes of flue fires is because of a build-up of soot of blockages from foreign object in the flue, the latter mainly caused by birds being able to drop twigs and foliage down the chimney pot which could be prevented by the installation of a chimney cap. The soot deposits are highly flammable as they contain creosote and other flammable compounds which both eat into the lining of the flue and should a build-up fall into the grate of an open fire could result in the fire spreading to outside of the grate. It may also cause a flue fire which, if left to burn, could result in the rest of the house catching light due to the intense heat and the joists becoming so dry they combust with little effort.
The Insurance companies could also deny an insurance payout due to inadequately maintaining your flue and fireplace so there are many reasons to consider getting your flue swept sooner rather than later. Even an unused flue needs sweeping as the soot deposits can eat away at the internal lining of the flue and the mortar joints making the brickwork and render weak which could ultimately mean major work to reline and re-point a flue and stack.
At The London Chimney Sweeps we can help prevent all of this by routinely and properly sweeping your flue and clearing all the deposits away. We can even advise you on the correct terminals, ventilation and even chimney balloons that will help prevent birds nesting, soot corrosion, down drafts and chimney fires. We are regulated by HETAS and Gas Safe and all our engineers have many years of experience within the industry.
You can also help immediately by ensuring you use the correct fuel in your fireplace, logs should come from hard woods such as birch and oak and have less than 25% moisture content. You should never use off cuts of sawn timber, old furniture or laminates and treated woods as they will cause even more deposits to line your flue and may also damage appliances beyond repair, especially ones that have special airwash systems built in.