Essex Chimney Sweeps

Chimney and Thatch Fires

What causes a chimney fire with reference to thatched properties, particularly when a chimney liner is installed?
  • Having a spark guard or similar on top can cause soot to build up due to sudden cooling and slowing of the flue gasses. Should the cowl get sooty and catch fire it can drop sparks onto the thatch. A spark arrestor cannot be cleaned properly unless removed. Please check with your insurer whether they require you to have one or not.
  • If a chimney liner is installed into a very tarry chimney and the liner is installed in such a way that it comes close to the internal tarry surface of the chimney, the heat from the liner can cause the tar to spontaneously combust causing a chimney fire.
  • If a chimney liner is not swept often enough or properly this can obviously cause a chimney fire.
  • When the heat travelling up the liner goes into the narrowing of the chimney (through the roof), the heat from the liner can be transmitted through the brickwork and out under the thatch. Thatch is an excellent insulator and the heat can increase. This can cause a thatch fire.
  • If register plates are made of combustible material or there is combustible material within the chimney a fire or other dangerous situation can occur.
  • Installing the wrong type of liner for the fuel type being used can cause chimney fires.
  • Burning wet wood in can cause chimney fires due to increased tar / creosote deposits inside the chimney. Use logs with a moisture content of less than 20%.
  • Using the fire to dispose of waste
  • If the flue liner or any other part of the system is installed incorrectly the result can be chimney fire or leakage of poisonous gasses.
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