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Keeping Safe
12 April 2016, 19:08,
Keeping Safe
No, not about security doors, locks etc., OH and I have spent a well-used hour today checking out fire precautions. Do you have open fires or woodburners in your property? Then you need to carry out a few precautions.

We have checked and fitted fire extinguishers upstairs and downstairs; fitted a fireproof blanket in an accessible spot (near the kitchen stove); and have checked and rebatteried the carbon monoxide alarms in bedrooms. This is an old house and, although we have oil-fired central heating, our main heating in winter consists of an open fire and a woodburner. We are lucky to have really enormous chimneys so the updraught is excellent, but the brickwork can be a bit leaky if there is a lot of smoke and fumes could be a problem. Always worth checking.

To make sure that chimneys are clear I always have them swept at the end of Summer. Our sweep also gives us a certificate we can keep as proof, if necessary. It's best to leave sweeping chimeys until after nesting season is over so any debris from hopeful birds can be swept away. Even with cowl protectors some debris always seems to find its way into the upper part of the chimeys, and of course it could be a fire hazard. Best to be safe.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
12 April 2016, 19:49,
RE: Keeping Safe
All good sound advice Mary and i like you follow the same routine....( bit leaky brickwork ? ) don't like the sound of that Mary ....get yourself some smoke bombs and check it out properly....these will expose any leak and their positions , once found correct the leaks at once ....worse case flue not leave it Mary !
Where were you going ? ....when I seen you coming back ?
12 April 2016, 20:15,
RE: Keeping Safe
The brickwork isn't a problem, S, we've had it checked; there is some minor shrinking of the mortar. Nothing really unexpected as this house is nearly 300 years old. We did look into a flue liner for the logburner, but the firm who fitted it was unable to navigate the bends and twists in the chimney. We have enormous chinneys and they bend at the top - I wasn't about to allow them to start knocking holes in brickwork. So we've done the safety bits.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
13 April 2016, 08:15,
RE: Keeping Safe

If flue gasses are leaking through the chimney brickwork/pointing ( as opposed to back draughting) this is a problem that you should get fixed urgently.

What starts out as a small seepage can quickly grow into a major leak, especially if our of sight in the loft area etc.

Flue gasses from wood burning can be over 400C so you can see where this will lead.

Another thing for people to bear in mind is that burning under-seasoned wood with high moisture content, results in incomplete combustion and sticky tar like material being deposited in the chimney. This tar is flammable, and if allowed to build in large amounts, can be the cause of blast furnace style chimney fires. If in doubt the chimney should be swept once or twice per year.

Your thread is well timed to activities in our household. With the imminent arrival of the new boiler, we are at last forced to clean out the main lofts which are insulated with huge amounts of hay and straw. So far we've carted out 12 x 5 ton grain trailers of the stuff, and estimate that there's still another 30 trailers worth to go!

I will sleep easier once its all gone.

Get that chimney of yours looked at young lady. Better safe than sorry:-)
72 de



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