Our department used to use the Chimex flares for small chimney fires. We recently tried to find more to purchase, only to find that they no longer make them.
What are other departments using for chimney fires? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks & be safe
We get alot of chimney fires. Normaly, we just use a plain ABC portable fire extinguisher. Two or three blows up the chimney will do the trick and will not further damage the chimney has cold water would...
After that, all that is left to do is clean and inspect it before it can be used again.
spray a couple of shots of a dry chem does the trick to!
We use dry chem as well however we use it like a "chimney bomb" we have a 5 gal bucket of dry chem that we fill sandwich bags with it. We keep about 10-15 on the truck and drop them down the chimney, however unless you have a tall chimney you will have to break it open can't tell you how many times I have seen people drop whole bags of dry chem down chimneys.
Our most common approach is a combination of dry chem bags similiar to cdl and chains to loosen large blockages.
We also use the ABC extinguishers. Put a fan at the front door to create some positive pressure in the building. This will aid in getting the dry chem up the stack.
Came from a department that had lots of chimney fires- Resort area. People on vacation leave their brains at home while vacationing. Here are some ideas that worked for us. Rember no 2 fires are the same.
1. The chimney bomb- works great. We saved all of the old coffee cans and filled them with tri class powder. If we could get to the chimney w/o much of an issue it worked great. Need a salvage tarp to put in front of the fireplace to keep the dust storm out of the home or condo when bombing.
2. Sheet of plywod cut down- place it infront of the firebox and give a squirt of tri class up the chimney. The fire starves because of the lack of make up air and the tri class.
3. The big shovel/water can option: put a salvage cover down on the floor and grab the fireplace logs (by hand) and toss them into the yard. Follow up with the shovel full of ashes. Wet down with water can. Treat like a campfire and follow Smokeys rules! then a chimney bomb or a spray with the powder.
4. Water Can up the pipe: This is for the frequent flyers that don't clean their chimneys- shoot the water can up the chimney. This usually cracks the flue and becomes an expensive repair. Ever price out a stainless steel liner?
In any multi family/condo/etc. the chimney must be placed out of service until a sweep is called in to clean and inspect. Most have the camera that can check for damage to the flue.
A nice trick for woodstoves comes from an old farmer who told me he puts a lunchbag full of rock salt in the firebox when the stove is burning hot and opens up the vents. This causes the creasote to slough off of the flue pipe and run back into the stove and reburn. I tried this and found out every place that my flue pipe had a pin sized hole. I was cleaning up creasote for days.
Of course you can always put a christmas tree in the firebox and make a volcano. Wet the roof down first- the neighbors too.
Yeah- we used the chimflex for years- they were really pricey though.
Best thing is an agressive inspection plan. We finally came up with an inspection SOP/SOG for this. Work with the condo associations/insurance companies and State Fire Marshal.
good luck- now that it's spring it's time to worry about those red flag days and outdoor burning.