- Heating Safety -
FIREPLACES, CHIMNEYS, CHIMENEAS, WOOD STOVES
WHAT IS INSIDE MY CHIMNEY PIPE?
Creosote is a chemical substance that forms when wood burns. Some creosote escapes in smoke, but part condenses and builds up within a chimney. Creosote is a product of incomplete combustion.
The most common form of creosote is DRY AND FLAKY; other types range from a clear or
yellowish substance to a thick, tarry substance.
All forms are FLAMMABLE,
have a low ignition temperature, and a high fuel content.
ALL WOOD FUELS
AND WOOD STOVES
PRODUCE SOME CREOSOTE.
Burning wood slowly for long periods of time contributes to the soot and creosote problem. By opening the air inlets or the wood stove door and allowing the wood to burn freely ("hot burn") for 10-15 minutes several times a week- the buildup of creosote can be reduced.
(NOTE: this should be started with new stoves)
IMPORTANT: (If this has not been done with an older stove, the system should be CLEANED before "hot burning")
Have your chimney inspected and cleaned ANNUALLY (More frequently if you use your stove or fireplace often).
Burn only clean dry seasoned hardwoods (This means using wood that has been cut and dried at least 12 months.) Green wood releases more moisture and contributes to creosote formation.
Keep your fires SMALL but burning at a steady, brisk rate.
Add fuel often rather than piling too much on at one time. (You will reduce chances of keeping smoke within the chimney for too long a time, as well as possible creosote ignition due to high temperatures or "overfiring").
NEVER BURN PAPER OR TRASH IN YOUR STOVE OR FIREPLACE
MAKE SURE YOUR FIREPLACE OPENING IS COVERED WITH A STURDY METAL SCREEN
NEVER LEAVE A FIRE UNATTENDED !!!!!!
KEEP A FIRE EXTINGUISHER OR A SUPPLY OF SAND ON HAND TO CONTROL FLAMES IF THE FIRE GETS TOO LARGE OR ESCAPES IT'S BOUNDARIES.
USE THE EXTINGUISHER ONLY IF YOU HAVE BEEN TRAINED AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT PROPERLY.
AVOID APPLYING WATER TO A HOT STOVE OR CHIMNEY AS THERMAL SHOCK CAN CAUSE DAMAGE
KEEP THE WOODSTOVE FREE OF EXCESS ASH BUILD-UP. FOLLOW MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS. EXCESSIVE BUILD UP PREVENTS GOOD CIRCULATION OF AIR NEEDED FOR COMBUSTION.
WHEN REMOVING ASHES, USE METAL CONTAINER WITH A TIGHT-FITTING COVER.
KEEP ASHES WELL AWAY FROM THE HOUSE AND OTHER COMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL WHILE THEY COOL.
DON'T DUMP ASHES INTO OTHER CONTAINERS UNLESS COALS ARE COMPLETELY EXTINGUISHED.
Use CAUTION when operating! Don't use on decks or near combustibles. Follow manufacturer's instructions as to placement and installation.
www.chimneys.com -- Chimney questions
www.ncsg.org -- National Chimney Sweep Guild