In 1982, wood-burning appliances accounted for more fires, more fire deaths, and greater
property damage than any other kind of heating fuel -- about 140,000 fires, 250 deaths and
$257 million in property damage. These losses represented 20 percent of all residential fires
in the U.S., 5 percent of all fire deaths, and 8 percent of estimated property damage.
An estimated 73,800 home-heating fires occurred throughout the nation in 1994, killing 487
people and injuring almost 2,000, according to the NFPA.
Article... Chimney Blaze Startles Family Daily News - Santa Clarita California
The Torres family didn't realize their chimney was engulfed in flames Wednesday night until
a neighbor knocked on the door to tell them their house was on fire. "I just got the kids out
and called 911," said Jill Torres, who lives along Bella Santa Drive in Valencia. "My husband
jumped on the roof." Mike Torres managed to get most of the flames out and firefighters
arrived within three minutes to finish the job, Jill said. Jill and Mike Torres had tucked their
three children in bed and were cozy in front of their fireplace, watching a video and wrapping
Christmas gifts. Both had colds and couldn't smell the smoke. "We were sitting here
clueless," Jill Torres said. The fire started in the upper section of the chimney on the second
floor of the home, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Gary Deliamalva. The
Torres family is not sure what caused the fire, but fire officials said there was possible
damage inside the chimney before the uncontrolled flames shot out of the home. This time of
year, chimney fires are common, with heating-equipment fires ranking second among the
leading cause of fire deaths in American homes, according to the National Fire Protection
Association in Quincy, Mass.
Article... Fire Burns Recently Remodeled Home To Ground - Deteriorated Chimney Cited As
Cause - Fire fighters arrived at the scene of a fire last night too late to save the home or its
furnishings. Several measures had been taken to prevent fires when the home was recently
remodeled, said the owners of their loss. However, under questioning by investigators, it was
determined that the chimney, ironically the only part of the house left standing after the blaze,
had not been cleaned nor had the masonry been checked for cracks or leaks in several
years. A dense build-up of creosote deposits in the chimney fueled the fire. The deteriorated
condition of the chimney allowed flames to escape through holes in the flue, which then
spread rapidly throughout the two-story building. Fire officials said of the tragedy, “We see
fires like this every day. People get lazy or forgetful and take the condition of their chimneys
for granted. Then something like this happens. Fortunately, no one was hurt. But next time?
In many cases, homeowners fail to inspect their fireplaces for cracks and damage after
earthquakes or the chimney is not cleaned. Cracks in the mortar - particularly in older homes
- causes wood on the home to be exposed, starting an inferno in the fireplace, fire officials
said. The problem lies in thick creosote forming. Creosote is a chemical substance, which
forms when wood burns and builds up in the chimney. Built-up creosote can cause a
chimney fire if it is not removed through cleaning, which involves a professional chimney
sweep sweeping and vacuuming out the deposits. "A chimney fire almost sounds like a
freight train rushing through. It can literally form fireballs if it's not cleaned out. The chimney
fire can extend to the rest of the home by igniting the roof or leap to a neighbor's home via
trees, fire officials said.
PREVENT FIRES: GET A CHIMNEY CLEANING AND CHIMNEY INSPECTION BY A
PROFESSIONAL CHIMNEY SWEEP REGULARLY! In 1999, there were 48,800 heating
related home fires, resulting in 301 deaths, 1,383 injuries, and $606.5 million in property
Masonry chimneys - When chimney fires occur in masonry chimneys - whether the flues
are an older, unlined type or are tile lined to meet current safety codes - the high
temperatures at which they burn (around 2000' F) can "melt" mortar, crack tiles, cause liners
to collapse and damage the outer masonry material. Most often, tiles crack and mortar is
displaced, which provides a pathway for flames to reach the combustible wood frame of the
house. One chimney fire may not harm a home. A second can burn it down. Enough heat can
also conduct through a perfectly sound chimney to ignite nearby combustibles. This is
known as pyrolization.
Prefab Chimneys - Most factory built fireplaces are tested and listed as decorative heating
appliances and will not withstand the abuse often heaped on their masonry counterparts.
Although they are tested to U.L. standards, severe over firing and chimney fires will often
badly damage these units. Regular yearly maintenance, cleaning at generally 1/8" buildup,
and careful monitoring can assure a safe enjoyable system. Many prefab chimneys,
especially older units with an imitation brick housing above the roof, seem to be a preferred
nesting site for birds in many areas as well as invasion by other animals. It is not unusual for
chimney sweeps to take literally buckets of nesting material from these chimneys. This
nesting can catch fire directly, or it can block critical air passageways between layers of metal
chimney pipe, allowing the chimney to overheat and carbon monoxide to back up into the
home. Both scenarios routinely cause house fires. Most after market chimney covers do not
correctly address the problem, and can often make the situations worse. A careful screening
of all potential nesting areas with the proper sized screening may be in order.
As frightening and as fierce as the potential fireplace and chimney hazards are, they are
almost entirely preventable. The Chimney Safety Institute recommends that homeowners
should have their chimneys inspected and cleaned once a year. If unseasoned wood is
burned in the fireplace, twice-a-year cleaning and inspection may be necessary, because
unseasoned wood usually burns at a lower temperature than seasoned wood, causing more
smoke and therefore more creosote.
Some people assume that because they don't have fires continuously during the winter, they
don't have to worry too much about creosote buildup. This may be far from the truth. The
colder the flue, the greater the condensation, so creosote buildup is the greatest at the
beginning of a fire, in the time before the flue has fully heated up.
The Chimney Safety Institute also recommends that if you use the chimney, wood stove, or
free-standing fireplace less than three times a week, you should have the chimney inspected
at least once a year and cleaned if necessary.
FYI --THE BOTTOM LINE: The build up of creosote in your chimney can lead to major
problems. The major problem is of course fire. Creosote is highly flammable and once it
gets started it can burn your entire home to the ground. Protect your home but more
importantly protect your life and that of your family. Get a proper chimney cleaning and
chimney inspection by a qualified chimney sweep yearly.
OUR CHIMNEY SWEEP LOCATION IS: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
IN AND AROUND THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY INCLUDING:
VALLEY VILLAGE, MISSION HILLS, PACOIMA, ARLETA, PANORAMA CITY, AND SYLMAR, over
through SUNLAND, TUJUNGA, VALLEY VILLAGE, MISSION HILLS, PACOIMA, ARLETA,
PANORAMA CITY, AND SYLMAR, over through SUNLAND, TUJUNGA, MONTROSE, LA
CRESCENTA, AND LA CANADA/FLINTRIDGE.
MONTROSE, LA CRESCENTA, AND LA CANADA/FLINTRIDGE.
ADDITIONAL CITIES GOING EAST INCLUDING:
BURBANK, GLENDALE, PASADENA, SOUTH PASADENA, SAN MARINO, TEMPLE CITY,
SIERRA MADRE, ARCADIA, MONROVIA, DUARTE, AZUSA, CHARTER OAK, COVINA, WEST
COVINA, IRWINDALE, GLENDORA, SAN DIMAS, LA VERNE, POMONA, CLAREMONT,
UPLAND, SAN ANTONIO HEIGHTS, ONTARIO, SAN GABRIEL, EAGLE ROCK, GLASSEL
PARK, HIGHLAND PARK, ATWATER VILLAGE, ALHAMBRA, EL MONTE, BALDWIN PARK,
MONTCLAIR, HACIENDA HEIGHTS, ROWLAND HEIGHTS, LA PUENTE, DIAMOND BAR,
PHILLIPS RANCH, CHINO, CHINO HILLS, RANCHO CUCAMONGA AND SURROUNDING
WE ALSO WORK IN:
HOLLYWOOD, HOLLYWOOD HILLS AND WEST HOLLYWOOD, AS WELL AS SILVER LAKE,
LOS FELIZ, ATWATER AND NORTH LOS ANGELES NEAR THE HOLLYWOOD BEVERLY
IF YOU NEED CHIMNEY CLEANING, CHIMNEY REPAIR, FIREPLACE REPAIR, CHIMNEY
INSPECTION OR FIREPLACE INSPECTION PLEASE GIVE US A CALL.
CHIMNEY CLEANING $99
***** 5.0 star rating 4/3/2017 (YELP)
and efficient. He seems like a very
honest and cool guy. The price
was more than fair, and he left
everything clean. Highly
SERVING GREATER LOS ANGELES
T H E L. A. S W E E P