Chimney fires : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

To all:

I have a wood fireplace insert, but have no experience in using a wood insert/stove yet. I know that I should be testing it out now, and that's what I intend to do soon. Also, I've got a chimney cleaning brush and poles.

My most important question is that I have heard that there is a dry chemical (an anti-burn powder) in a bag that you can drop down a chimney which would smother the fire just like a dry chemical fire extinguisher would. Is there such a thing, and if so, where can you get it?

Also, I would appreciate any and all advice (and your experiences, if any) regarding preventing and putting out chimney fires. Regarding prevention, I do know a few basics, e.g., that you should use seasoned wood, keep the fires hot to avoid creosote buildup, and inspect and clean periodically. A chimney sweep showed me a few basics on how to clean, but I'm open to tips on this too. I also have five 10-lb ABC fire extinguishers for the house in general, and several battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

If this kind of post should just be on the prep forum, please let me know. For now, I've posted it here only.

Thank you,

-- eve (, November 17, 1999


The consensus among the long-time wood burners here (I've only been doing this for a year now) is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Proper installation, regular cleanings, proper fuel (dry seasoned hardwood), and maintaining a safe environment (i.e. no papers, clothing or other flammables near the stove) are all key to fire prevention.

With specific regard to chimney fires, we have purchased a few of the 'chimney fire extinguishers. The ones we purchased look like a large road flare and work in a similar fashion. That is, you peel the cap off the top, use a striker on the cap to ignite the extinguisher, then simply toss the extiguisher into the woodstove.

Caveat: we never had to use one so we don't know how well they work and have really focused our efforts on preventative measures.

-- Arnie Rimmer (, November 17, 1999.

Eve --

I just learned last night of a product marketed to reduce creosote buildup before it starts. Its a liquid with an aerosol applicator nozzle so you can spray the stuff in teh chminey and actually on the wood and in your firebox. The name escapes me right now -- Crystalline Creosote Buster, or something like that. I ordered two bottles. Respost this question next week onteh preps forum (or is it there already?) and I'll try to get the name for you.

Or ask your local stove dealer.

Squirrl Huntr >"<

-- SH (, November 17, 1999.


I have been using a product called Anti-Creo-Soot for three years. A spray or two on the inside of the stove or logs after starting the fire. Minimal creosote build-up according to the guy who sweeps. Costs about $30.00 a gallon, one years supply in my case. Chimney sweeps or stove outlets would be a place to look for it.


-- Ez (, November 17, 1999.

Hi, SH!

Good to hear from you. Based on your post, I ordered a few cans of this stuff. The name is different, but it's supposed to do the job. Thanks!

(I have not yet posted this in the prep forum, but maybe I will.)

Talk to you later.


Thanks for responding. From what you said, I ordered a few chimney fire extinguishers. But I agree with concentrating on prevention. That's my focus.

-- eve (, November 17, 1999.


.....I posted on an earlier thread that a mixture of 1/2 cup of zinc oxide and 1/2 cup of coarse table salt, thrown into a hot fire will inhibit creosote buildup on the inside of a chimney. Repeat this process two to three times per year. I've only read about it before now and am looking for a source for the zinc oxide locally, (as opposed to ordering from the Alchemist in California) so I don't yet know how well it works. The other formulas in the book I've found highly effective though.

.....Also, I've only had my stovepipe hooked up for avout three weeks now, and all of my firewood is seasoned hardwood.

-- Patrick (, November 17, 1999.


Wow; this is an interesting concoction. Thanks for the tip. By the way, zinc oxide is used in dental work. I believe it's mixed with oil of clove (eugenol) for use in temporary fillings. Try a dental supply house. Good luck.

-- eve (, November 17, 1999.


.....(Groan!) just yesterday I spent 3+ hours in his damnable chair for a tooth I broke off over the weekend, (hit right on the tooth with a board), had a root canal and temporary crown, have to go back for another three on Tuesday next. At least I'll have the opportunity to inquire then.

.....BTW, the stuff they mixed up for the temp was the God-awful smelliest stuff!

-- Patrick (, November 17, 1999.


I feel for you. You know, while you're at it, see if you can get some oil of clove (eugenol). It's supposed to be a pretty good anesthetic for certain types of toothache and mouth pain. But get instruction from your dentist as to the specifics (like my disclaimer?).

Hey, we went from chimney fires to toothaches in just a few short posts!

-- eve (, November 18, 1999.

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