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    Question Where can I find Chimney Fire Flares?

    Does anyone know where I can get chimney fire flares. I have heard that the makers of Chimfex flares had a fire at the factory and they are not reopening. Any suggestions of other brands ect. Thanks for any help you can give me.
    Cole P

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    Question huh

    What is a 'chimney fire flare'?

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    Lightbulb

    we didnt use them here but they shaped like a flare.....and contain a chemical that helps put out the fire....I beleive that is the gist of it ....
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    We just use the powder from dry chem extinguisher and a zipploc bag. Much cheaper and works great for chimney fires.
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    I'll second the Dry chem in Ziplock.Much cheaper and easier(less toxic)to the personnel than those damn flares.We haven't used them since the late 50's.One bag usually does it,maybe two for a nasty one.T.C.

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    Ah, house sized roman candles. Don't see many anymore, but...

    In my youth my dept used "gunpower" some highly flashable black stuff that would flare and use up the oxygen in the flue, actually worked. I have no idea what it was or where they got it from, but the stuff worked pretty good.

    Later we switched to PKP (AKA Purple Potasium or Purple K Powder), for two reasons. #1 ABC dry chem melts and leaves a crusty residue on the flue, since all dry chem's are corrosive this can be very bad for a metal flue. #2 we had a 55gal drum of it kicking around from back in the day when we still carried PKP on the bumper.

    Packed into a sandwich bag it worked pretty good.

    Oh, and we also had a rule, the third time we came to your house in a season the booster line went down the flue and we comdemned the chimney (would happen 2-5 times a season, we must have run 20-50 chimneys in a town of 500 residents a year).
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    We had some of those things and they fell apart from old age. We never used them. Some body got the idea that salt was the greatest thing to use. We carried a case of table salt on the trucks and I think it did about the same good as a bag of sand would have done. We put dry chem. bombs on the truck 2 years ago and not had a chance to use them yet. I think we will get the chance this year. With fuel prices up I see more and more trucks on the road with wood. Check with you local exting. service center. They may have some chem. that they will give you.
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    Question Flue Season

    Regarding the salt, when salt is applied to a fire it decomposes and produces carbon dioxide (CO2, well thats what I was told, sure someone will correct me) which is carried up the chimney and suffocates the fire - well, thats the theory anyway. We used to inform area residents that there first action after calling us should be to add salt to the fire in the hearth.

    Regarding extinguishing chimney fires, I still have to say, the best and most effective primary method I have used was to simply use a pressure water can and partially blocking the nozzle with my finger extinguish any remaining fire in the hearth. The steam then continues up the chimney smothering / cooling the fire. Oh, and I have never ever seen or come across a cracked hearth or chimney from this method.. it would take a large quantity of water quickly applied to manage that (but I continually here other firefighters say they'll never use this method for fear of wrecking the flues ).

    Thats my tuppence anyway.

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    Something about fighting a fire by waving a FLARE at it just doesn't seem like the best way to go about it these days. It's already on fire, we don't need to light off another one. Hell, most can be extinguished without bringing equipment off the truck. Go to the refrigerator, get the bucket of ice cubes, and dump them on the coals. The fire in the fireplace or stove goes out, the fire in the chimney goes out, and it cools what's left in the firebox down.

    We usually shovel the firebox out for the homeowner and dump the crap outside somewhere.
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    nm...........it wasnt a flare...........it was "flare" shaped.
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    Regarding the salt, when salt is applied to a fire it decomposes and produces carbon dioxide (CO2, well thats what I was told, sure someone will correct me) which is carried up the chimney and suffocates the fire
    You have probably been told wrong. There is nothing in table salt that will decompose into carbon or oxygen. There is also nothing in the literature that I can find that indicates that it does.

    still have to say, the best and most effective primary method I have used was to simply use a pressure water can and partially blocking the nozzle with my finger extinguish any remaining fire in the hearth. The steam then continues up the chimney smothering / cooling the fire.
    I would have to say that you would not use this method in my house. A cracked hearth or firebox is a very expensive byproduct of an unnecessary fire suppression method. Remember property preservation?

    On another note, they used to make those Chimfex things along with railway fusees in the town next to mine. That plant also burned multiple times. Very interesting fire. It's like walking into Hell.

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    I tried to find a pic of said device but have been unable........
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    Originally posted by Weruj1
    I tried to find a pic of said device but have been unable........
    The one we used to have looked like fat flares. If I remember correctly, the wrapper was brown instead of red in order to differentiate them from a fusee.

    However, they operated exactly the same way...except you didn't want to light it before you got the thing into the flue.

    BTW...we used to carry a big metal tub and shovel the fire out of the fire box, wet it down with a PW and carry it outside before we dealt with the chimney fire.

    Also, just a thought. If the chimney is constructed properly, the best way to clean the chimney is to let it burn.

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    Thumbs up Awrite...............

    Originally posted by Fire304


    Later we switched to PKP (AKA Purple Potasium or Purple K Powder), for two reasons. #1 ABC dry chem melts and leaves a crusty residue on the flue, since all dry chem's are corrosive this can be very bad for a metal flue. #2 we had a 55gal drum of it kicking around from back in the day when we still carried PKP on the bumper.

    Packed into a sandwich bag it worked pretty good.
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    Default Re: Awrite...............

    Originally posted by hwoods
    How many sandwich bags can you fill from a 55 gal drum??
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    NM,You must have some passive chimney fires in your area.I've worked a few in my district that 2 20# dry chem barely put a dent in.Damn sure wouldn't have been bothered by a tray of ice cubes.The Chimfex "flares"look kinda like flares,light like flares but once running they are more like a Superior brand smoke grenade on a stick.The idea being to produce large quantities of inert smoke and deny the chimney fire oxygen.We've used the dry chem/ziploc trick successfully for years.We use different size bags(up to freezer size)depending on the severity of the fire.We also rough"clean"the flue to remove any remaining "junk"so we don't have to come back the next night.A 30#pail of chemical will last a couple years in a four station 300 call a year situation.We've had a couple that would turn a 3/8's cleaning chain cherry red and make it a fixed rod piece of junk in under three minutes.Needless to say,it didn't do the flue any good either.And I'm afraid this winter will bring more of the same due to the high price of energy.T.C.

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    Amen TC!

    Judging from all the piles of fresh cut wood I think a lot of people are going green this year too.
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