Chimney Fires

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"Bird-Proof" Your Chimney

Over the past several years, the Village has experienced several home fires in prefabricated chimney assemblies. These fires were a result of nesting material from birds who enter the top of the flue pipe area near the rain cap to build nests. Over the years, bird-nesting material falls down the flue pipe chase, lands on top of the firebox, and ignites when exposed to the heat of the flue pipe.

These fires occur in prefabricated fireplaces with combustible enclosures and can occur in any fireplace that is not properly closed off to birds.

In order to clean the flue pipe area of bird nesting material, the siding must be removed near the firebox to gain entry. Both the top of the flue pipe area and the firebox location should be checked for nesting material. After nesting material has been removed, the top area of the rain cap and all open areas need to be enclosed with 3/8 inch mesh or screen material. Other fireplace precautions to take include:

  • Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected by a professional service person annually before the start of the heating season.
  • Never use any type of flammable or combustible liquid to start a fire.
  • Don't burn plastics, garbage, colored paper, or wood that has been painted or treated. Burn only well seasoned hard wood.
  • Children should be taught not to touch or play around the fireplace.
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms near every bedroom and on all levels of your home.
  • Place a multipurpose "ABC" type fire extinguisher in or near the same room as the fireplace. This extinguisher should have a minimum rating of 1A-10B:C.
  • Never hesitate to call the Fire Department at 911 if you suspect an emergency problem with your fireplace.