In the aftermath of a chimney fire, it’s hard to know how to move forward. Whether the event occurred unbeknownst to you or it was a dramatic ordeal, by now we’re assuming the flames are out and you’re uncertain of your next steps.
Well, that’s where we come in to help! Even if you called in the fire department to extinguish all the flames, your chimney still needs a professional evaluation, which should only be done by a CSIA certified sweep. The professionals here at The Chimney Doctor are ready to help you out every step of the way. Call today to set up an appointment with our team.
Stop Using the Fireplace
First things first, stop using the fireplace. Lighting a fire after a chimney fire has occurred can put your home and family at serious risk and invite countless threats. One comes in the form of smoke and carbon monoxide exposure. There will no doubt be countless weak areas throughout your masonry, giving smoke, fumes, and poisonous gases easy access to the rest of your household.
Now, smoke and certain gases, while dangerous, are fairly easy to detect, giving you ample time to exit the area and call for help, but this isn’t the case with carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, making it next to impossible to notice, and because symptoms are so similar to the flu or a cold, many will have no idea exposure has occurred.
Unfortunately, because of this, carbon monoxide causes many deaths every single year. This is why practicing the utmost caution is vital! Always schedule a yearly inspection, have all repairs addressed promptly, and install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home to guarantee the safety of your loved ones.
Another threat homeowners face when operating a faulty fireplace is the risk of more flames entering the space. Heat and flames can easily make their way past your damaged liner and your cracked brickwork, and in these cases it only takes a matter of hours before your adjacent woodwork might ignite. Chimney fires are devastating enough without adding more home damages to address.
Don’t take any chances. If you’ve experienced a chimney fire shut down your fireplace completely until a qualified crew can fix things up again.
Contact a CSIA Certified Professional
Speaking of qualified crews, be sure that the team you count on is certified with the CSIA. This nonprofit organization sets the standard when it comes to training and educating sweeps, and any company that wants to do the best by their customers will make sure their crew is certified and maintains those credentials throughout their career.
In this field, doing everything to keep homeowners safer is essential, and the CSIA maintains a strict code of ethics that holds sweeps to the highest standard possible. Count on a certified expert to get the job done right! The crew here at The Chimney Doctor is qualified, experienced, and happy to assist with all of your chimney-related needs.
Reach Out to Your Insurance Company
Find out what your insurance company covers in regards to chimney fire-related damages, and see what information they need from you. They may have specific requirements when it comes to getting the compensation you deserve, and the sweeps taking care of the situation will need to know exactly what to look for (and what things to note) to ensure you’re taken care of.
Take pictures and make sure you are documenting everything that could be associated with the chimney fire. This could even include things like water damage (from trying to put it out), as well as damage to adjacent walls, nearby closets, floors, furniture, and more. You would be amazed at how far damages related to chimney fires can spread!
Along with this, be sure to hold onto any damaged items until after the insurance process is completed. Sometimes the insurance company will replace things like furniture and other household items if it is clear they were damaged by the chimney fire. They’ll just need the proof!
Importance of Investing in Annual Inspections
There are lots of reasons why the CSIA (along with countless reputable organizations within the industry) urge homeowners to invest in annual inspections, but avoiding chimney fires is one of the biggest ones. This is by far the most effective way to prevent a chimney fire. Without inspections, homeowners fail to notice excessive creosote deposits, which are the leading cause of chimney fires.
Along with this, because chimney fires often occur quietly, many won’t realize they’ve experienced one until a sweep looks things over – a scary thought, indeed!
Another major benefit of having an inspection on file is for insurance purposes. Say you do experience a fire (or any damage done from a natural disaster). Getting the money you are entitled to for repair and restoration services will be a lot less challenging if you have solid evidence that it was the storm or fire that caused the damage. Without proof, you’ll have to go through endless hoops, and there’s a good chance you won’t get the coverage you need.
All in all, noting issues before they get worse and resolving them well before the start of the burning season will save hundreds (often thousands) of dollars down the line. Get the care and attention you deserve by reaching out to our experts today.