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Odd comments on Chimney Fires

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by schortie, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. schortie

    schortie Member

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    There have been quite a few fires from wood burning around me lately. A few have been chimney fires (mostly contained to the chimney thankfully) and another where something caught fire near a wood stove.

    The local fire guy was quoted in a couple articles in the local paper that I thought were a little off. First he said that everyone should make certain that they have triple-wall pipe on all of their stoves. Another was that he said "some types" of wood cause creosote and folks shouldn't burn it, but they didn't mention what those were (anyone care to guess?). Thankfully, he did say that any wood should be split and stacked for at least a year before burning.

    Anyhoo, it got me wondering if only the folks at hearth.com had accurate, informed, and safe information regarding burning wood for heat.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Nah. So does woodheat.org. Run by John Gulland. John invented trees.
    PapaDave, n3pro, gyrfalcon and 2 others like this.
  3. topoftheriver

    topoftheriver Member

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    Wood should be aged as a general rule of thumb. One year is fine but a bit shorter shouldn't make that much of a difference depending on burning habits. I have only seen one chimney fire in my life. It wasn't that big of a deal. It was short and burned out. It was in a metal pipe. Chimney fires in clay flues that have been compromised by age and deterioration present a more extreme problem with the result being a larger break down of the flue. As for creosote: any wood can cause creosote when the burning temperature is too low. If the wood is burned hot, you are less likely to create creosote. Basically, it is knowing your stove and other equipment like you flue or pipe, and being accustomed on how they work. Be familiar with your stove and methods. Happy burning and enjoy it.
  4. suprz

    suprz Member

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    When i looked into chimneys, the local woodstove shop said that they only install triple wall pipe "Airjet" was the brand name i think. I called another chimney installer based on a good referral from a friend. He told me that 1- triple walled pipe has only air between the walls, and that causes the inner flue pipe to get extremely cold and causes problems with creosote, and with bad draft issues because the pipe cant stay warm enough to keep the "draw" going for a good draft. 2- it is about the diamater of a small garbage can. As a matter of fact, the day he installed the Selkirk Duravent chimney on my house, his other crew was actually ripping out an old Airjet chimney because of bad draft, and failing joints. I am sure some folks have triple walled pipe and it works for them, but after reading about chimneys etc... I wanted the double walled solid insulation pipe
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Methinks the fellow writing the article was going from hand me down knowledge and not facts. Double wall or triple wall is just a manufacturing process. What you want is class A, high temp pipe listed to UL 103 HT from the room penetration on up. As long as it meets this spec it doesn't matter if it's double or triple wall. From the ceiling (or the thimble) to the stove you normally don't use class A double or triple wall. Single or double wall connector pipe is sufficient, less expensive and looks better.

    As for wood, the species is much less important for clean burning than the dryness of the wood and the burning technique.
  6. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    It all depends.....here our county we can only cut snags and it is almost all cedar and pine...so they are mostly dry already...give em 6-9 months after splitting and they are good to go.
  7. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    And thus in our litigious society he covers his proverbial buttocks.
  8. topoftheriver

    topoftheriver Member

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    There is a variety of procedures when burning wood. Dry wood should be tantamount for good burning. When burning correctly the pipe shouldn't be affected at all when you have good draft and air intake. This could be argued all night but it would make a bit of difference. Just be smart when you are burning. If you have a proper installation, there should be no other concern. There are many theories on what kind of pipe you should install. Single wall in an enclosed environment, double wall, the most accepted today and triple wall, an over kill. Take your pick. Why waste your money?
  9. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Answer: No . . . there are others out there who are informed enough to know about safe burning. However, while many firefighters are very, very good at putting out fires they are not necessarily knowledgable about preventing fires and so often rely on old info that they have read or have had passed down to them for years. Whenever you have a prevention question or install question you can ask a firefighter on the line . . . but if that fire department has a fire prevention officer or fire inspector you may end up with much better information.
  10. topoftheriver

    topoftheriver Member

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    firefighterjake. I won't necessarily disagree with you except for one thing. You will agree that acidents happen and sometimes there catastrophic results from negligence. But, for those who have been burning since, God, a great deal of knowledge has been amassed to deal with each detail in the delicate way we all do. Of course we want to be safe as well as warm. We are not talking about being stupid here, just efficient. I have fireman friends myself who have advised me from time to time when it comes to the code and the rest. I can't say that the majority of us deliberately ignore safety when it comes to our valuable homes and families. Your comments are noted with sincerity. It is all of us as a group that share these tid bits to assist each other in being safe, warm and having a little fun making comments and even sometimes poking some fun at one another. That is why we are all here.

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