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Pontius Navigator
2nd Mar 2018, 06:40
If you see flames jetting two feet out of a chimney of a house a couple of streets away do you call emergency services or assume someone else will call?

It was 7am, sub zero temperatures, and at least 10-15 minutes away on foot after getting dressed.

BruisedCrab
2nd Mar 2018, 06:46
Er..... yes. Immediately.

Chuck Glider
2nd Mar 2018, 07:01
Nah, they were just clearing their chimney.

TWT
2nd Mar 2018, 07:09
Or burning their furniture to keep warm.

Pontius Navigator
2nd Mar 2018, 07:16
Just wondered, got rice from the wife. An hour later light smoke but not necessarily from the chimney pot.

Just training over 50 years, assess, action, reassess. Or he who hesitates . . .

Not to mention that last month friends of ours had a chimney fire with their log burner. The wooden batters behind the plaster board caught fire.

sitigeltfel
2nd Mar 2018, 07:30
Sometimes the people in the house are the last to be aware of a chimney fire. Insurance companies here require you to get them cleaned once a year, and a certificate from the ramoneur to prove it.
Chimney fire damage with no certificate? Insurance claim invalid.

Krystal n chips
2nd Mar 2018, 07:47
Just wondered, got rice from the wife. An hour later light smoke but not necessarily from the chimney pot.

Just training over 50 years, assess, action, reassess. Or he who hesitates . . .

Not to mention that last month friends of ours had a chimney fire with their log burner. The wooden batters behind the plaster board caught fire.

When you have to pose the question here on JB before acting, one politely suggests you should have gone to Halton rather than Cranditz ( you may experience a sense of humour mode failure at this point )

The serious bit.

If you have ever seen the devastation caused by a house fire, as I have, once, in Glasgow, then 999 is the only course of action to take. The fire service continually stress that calling them out should be everybody's priority if they see, or suspect, a fire in a home.

Should, when they arrive, this turn out not to be as serious as perceived, and you explain your reasons, they are unlikely to get upset.

Human life and the potential to save lives by acting immediately must surely take preference to wondering about what to do.

Blues&twos
2nd Mar 2018, 07:57
My brother lived in a shared house once, in which they had a wood burner. For a few months it didn't seem to be burning very well, then one night as he was going to bed he thought the bathroom was unusually warm. Thought nothing more of it. The following morning the whole house was warmer than usual and the plaster on the chimney breasts up and downstairs had cracked, so they git a chimney sweep round to see what had happened. He confirmed they'd had a chimney fire, which had burned itself out fortunately, and had also negated the need for it to be swept for a few months.
Very lucky it wasn't a worse outcome.

BruisedCrab
2nd Mar 2018, 09:37
So did you call Fireman Sam?

Gault
2nd Mar 2018, 10:05
OP, congrats please accept your dumbest thread of the month Award

Pontius Navigator
2nd Mar 2018, 10:50
BC, that is what Mrs PN was bitching about and said I over reacted.

lomapaseo
2nd Mar 2018, 14:43
If you see flames jetting two feet out of a chimney of a house a couple of streets away do you call emergency services or assume someone else will call?

Just ignore it

nothing more than a recoverable engine surge. It will extinguish itself when all the woodwork is used up

Crepello
2nd Mar 2018, 20:34
Call it in - always, call it in.

We've been dispatched to a "plasticky odor" in a Walmart, only to discover it was a new shipment of flip-flops. We've been called to "burning engines", only to discover a smoky generator.

We slog our butts off at working fires - which we love, and train for - but frankly we'd rather be cleaning the station, training, emailing our wives, texting our girlfriends and wondering how the two of them will get along.

Always call it in. Also - any fire truck driver who tells you he's been doing it years and doesn't enjoy every run.... lying! ;)

Gertrude the Wombat
2nd Mar 2018, 20:52
House across the road from our office caught fire. We called it in, and whilst waiting for a response wandered over the take a look.

We kicked the front door in and shouted in to see if there was any response from inside, but there wasn't. We had more sense than to enter to see whether anyone needed rescuing.

Turned out that the blind guy who lived there had dropped a lighted cigarette on the sofa, so knowing that was the end of his house, because he couldn't see to retrieve it, he wandered out the back, went round to see a neighbour, didn't bother to tell the crowd of people at the front of his house that he was safe, and then asked the council for a new house because his old council house had burned down.

Tankertrashnav
2nd Mar 2018, 22:46
I used to have a wood burner until I had a chimney fire. Bore no resemblance to a typical sooty chimney fire from coal burning days. Chimney was issuing flames resembling the tailpipe of a jet with reheat selected. I evacuated the family and called 999. A very efficient fire service put the fire out very quickly. I learned that with wood burners it's a build up of tarry deposits which causes the problem

Ditched the wood burner without a moment's regret.

Pontius Navigator
3rd Mar 2018, 11:13
TTN, that was exactly as I saw. Must admit I never saw the Fire Truck. Never had a follow up call from the F&R.

rogerg
3rd Mar 2018, 11:31
Ditched the wood burner without a moment's regret
That happened to me with just an ordinary open fire. Was the same reason so I get it swept each year.

Blues&twos
3rd Mar 2018, 11:53
Our coal fire chimney needs sweeping every 12 months. If we burned logs instead if coal the sweep says that interval reduces to six months.
My wife's grandparents had a small house-fire decades ago which spread to their coal bunker in the garden!

Pontius Navigator
3rd Mar 2018, 13:01
If we burned logs instead if coal the sweep says that interval reduces to six months.
It depends on the condition of the wood burnt, the stove and the chimney. 6 months is a good interval intially but your sweep will then be able to refine the intervals.

Another point our sweep made was the chimney needs a rain cowl if you have a cast iron stove.

Tankertrashnav
3rd Mar 2018, 17:12
I should say that in my case sweeping wasn't an option. A chimney specialist told me that in my case the chimney in my 150 year old house was in very poor condition, and unusually it is extremely narrow at one point (probably where the tar build-up occurred), and consequently a liner could not be installed.

I don't miss the hassle of keeping up with a good supply of dry logs, chopping, fetching and carrying etc. I've done all that "good life" bit, and am now happy to live with modern heating.

Pontius Navigator
3rd Mar 2018, 17:42
I don't miss the hassle of keeping up with a good supply of dry logs, chopping, fetching and carrying etc. I've done all that "good life" bit, and am now happy to live with modern heating.
Snap, cutting down a number of Ash each Spring, chopping in to logs the next year. Buying in 2-3 loads a year, storing, moving to the house, cleaning the fire, laying, lighting, tending, composting the ash, cleaning the dust etc etc.

Now, let UFH take the strain.

Blues&twos
3rd Mar 2018, 18:07
But the open fire was brilliant for us at the end of last year when the central heating stopped working, then was fixed, then the oil pump failed a day later. Two weeks without fully functional central heating would have been miserable if we hadn't had one room which was toasty.
Also, I can indulge my pyromaniac tendencies without going outside.

PC767
3rd Mar 2018, 19:23
My Scottish grandmother wouldn’t pay for a chimney sweep. Once a year she stuffed old newspapers up the chimney and ignited them. The resultant inferno ‘cleaned’ the chimney until the next time.

G-CPTN
3rd Mar 2018, 20:39
My daughter moved into a new (to her) 1930s house.
She declared her intention of heating the house with a log-fire.
I decided to give her the benefit of my experience when she was 18 months old when we had just moved into a new (to us) house with defunct electric underfloor heating - which also had gaps between the eaves that allowed the wind to circulate between the walls and the plasterboard walls such that draughts constantly chilled the rooms, so the house was permanently cold.
There was no mains gas in the village, so I decided on a solution:-
I installed a Baxi underfloor-draught open fire with a back boiler.
I had access to an endless supply of very cheap well-dried timber packing cases used to export kits to build cars and trucks in third world countries.

Feeding the open fire with the wood required the timber lengths to be cut into pieces the size of a house brick - an activity which warmed me admirably - as it burned through the 'logs' in minutes like feeding an elephant on strawberries.

I soon discovered that wood has one third the density of coal and one third the thermal energy of coal so you need nine times the volume of wood to match the heat of coal.
I know I was frequently knackered, and was relieved when we eventually moved house (some time later) to a house with central heating.

My daughter has unlimited access to standing timber on her brother-in-law's farm - thirty miles away so she asked:-

"Dad, can I have your chainsaw?"
My chainsaw is a very large, powerful (and heavy) ex-Forestry Commission machine and my daughter is a diminutive 5 ft tall - though 'determined'.
I doubted her ability to lift the saw, never mind handle it when felling trees.

I explained that she would have to store the cut trees for at least twelve months, then transport the pieces in the boot of her car (no trailer) making numerous frequent journeys or pay someone to deliver, in addition to the fuel for the chainsaw, making the whole operation uneconomic (IMO) apart from the time required (when she was about to embark on pregnancy and childbirth).

For her, coal is a better (and no doubt cheaper) solution.

Blues&twos
3rd Mar 2018, 22:13
Yes, coal is better than logs!

Pontius Navigator
4th Mar 2018, 07:32
How do you rate the briquettes against real coal?

Blues&twos
4th Mar 2018, 10:02
I have found briquettes are OK, but not as good as premium house coal for heat output (subjective assessment). I have occasionally used them to supplement the coal if we've run a bit low. Briquettes seem to give less smoke.

Private jet
5th Mar 2018, 20:54
During the recent chilly spell a friend of mine thought it would be a good idea to light his fire and use up some split logs that had dried out quite nicely in the garage. Unfortunately he didn't realise that a few months previously his wife, in order to stop a draught, had stuffed an old beachtowel up the flue, No chimney fire but a room full of smoke.