Playing with Fire

This is a chimney fire.  Hopefully, the fact that you are here perusing our website means that you are about to prevent this from happening to your home.  Chimney fires can be devastating, igniting a roof in seconds.   One key element to avoiding disasters like this is to be very aware of what you’re doing every time you light a fire in your home:  You’re playing with fire.  Learn how to properly use and maintain your woodstove, fireplace or gas log set and then be sure to educate your children.

Chimney fires cause about $23,000,000 a year in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Agency in 2009.  How many of those fires were preventable?  About 90%.

Safe Burning Practices:

– Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for your woodstove, gas log set or fireplace.

– Use seasoned hardwood as much as possible.

– Don’t use lighter fluid or other flammable liquids; these are extremely dangerous and highly volatile.

– Never, ever, ever burn trash, plastic, treated wood, or anything other than regular wood or firestarters in your fireplace.



Easy tips and troubleshooting:

– Is your damper open?  A quick peek up the flue will tell you yes or no.

– Do you have enough kindling?  The smaller and thinner your tinder, the more surface area there is available to allow for oxidation and fuel consumption.

– Are you having smoke problems?  Double check to make sure your damper is open.  You can try cracking a window for a minute or so until the flames can sustain themselves.  Just altering the ventilation and drafts coming through your house can sometimes help a smoking fireplace.  If none of these methods work for you, pick up the phone and call (706) 276-7725 for the North Georgia Mountains, or call (770) 740-9388 for North Metro Atlanta service areas.  It’s likely that you have a buildup of creosote that is causing improper ventilation.

– Do you smell a sour, stinky odor from your fireplace?  This can be caused by water entering the flue space, and reacting with the creosote.  The best thing to do in this scenario is to call us, (706) 276-7725 or (770) 740-9388 to have your flue swept and inspected and to replace the chimney cap and pan to prevent further water entrance to the flue.


What should you do if  you think you’ve had a chimney fire?

 If you hear a loud roaring noise, much like a jet engine flying through your living room, you are having a chimney fire.  Get everyone out of the house, call the Fire Department.  If you are able to, spray water on the roof but NOT on the chimney.  Spraying cold water on a hot chimney can cause further damage.

If you believe you have had a chimney fire, but are unsure, it’s best to call a chimney professional to inspect the flue.  Even small chimney fires that have gone unnoticed can cause damage to the flue.  Lighting a fire in a damaged flue can spell disaster for your home.