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Roy Cupps
Username: Admin

Post Number: 74
Registered: 1-2002
Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2002 - 3:54 pm:   

beta forum transfer, posted by Clayton on 1/23/02

There has been an interesting commentary going on in the bulletin section regarding this issue, that perhaps could serve us all better in this medium.

The installation of a woodburning appliance is dictated in Canada by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), your counterpart would be UL or WH; or the CSIA. These standards of installation have been adopted by the respective National Building Codes.

A "hostile" fire is an event as JF has indicated.

The bulletin initiator has said, ".... the chimney sweep people say ....", as JF suggested the appliance should be professionally inspected from bottom to top. "Appliance" means a device to convert the energy in fuel to useful heat, and includes all components, controls, wiring (if any), and piping required to be part of the device. In Canada, people certified to do that have been through W.E.T.T. - Wood Energy Technical Training; your counterpart to CSIA. Whether they are an adjuster, loss control inspector, chimney sweep, fire investigator, or engineer.

The bulletin mentioned that the fireplace has an aluminium flue. This would indeed be an odd / unusual composition for a flue pipe. If it is in fact aluminium, I could only imagine it running as a lining inside an existing masonry / clay tile flue.

I suggest respectfully, that people disregard the comments of "Superjuster". The Admin bulletin response gives some technical information; and the "hostile" chimney fire is certainly as illustrated by Dave and JL.

Chimney fires are a common event throughout North America, normally precipitated by the ignorance of the users; through the type of "friendly" fires created and / or the type of combustibles used. Too often the "wood" is too green with an excessive moisture content and / or the combustible of choice is burnable garbage paper products.

Creosote, the the result of poor usage. Creosote is the organic components of the flue gas, in solid or liquid form, which condense in the woodburning appliance (fireplace, woodstove/furnace), flue pipe or flue.

When a build up of creosote ignites in the upper areas (flue) of the appliance, away from the "friendly" fire - it is truly a destructive and scary "hostile" fire event.

A good starting point to get some info on the subject is the Chimney Safety Institute of America, as was suggested by Admin; as follows

I spent a week, quite a few years ago, at the W.E.T.T. course to get certified; I found it to be one of the more interesting programs that I have attended, and it has proven to be both useful and fruitful.

One of the first things I do when attending a chimney fire site is to get a good understanding and look at the wood being used. They say in the rural parts that you can judge a man by his woodpile. You can get a good early feel for the situation if you study what is being burnt and where it is being stored (in a/o outside). Then have a good discussion with the user about their usage practices and their preventative / maintenance steps in using their appliance. This will give you some thoughts then on any developing subrogation issues that coupled with a study and examination of the installation history, will allow you to formulate an informed commentary to present to your carrier.

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