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Chimney protection

Chimney protection

(OP)
Hi all,
Have you ever designed any active fire protection system for a chimney to estinguish chimney fires? I have already suggested to adequate the chimney to NFPA 211 standard but the client asked if an automatic fire protection system is suitable for chimneys.

RE: Chimney protection

Nope. It sounds like a pain in the a$$ to design, fabricate and maintain. My experience is that inspecting the maintaining the chimney per NFPA 211 is a more reliable method for dealing with a vertical shaft designed to remove heat and products of combustion.

RE: Chimney protection

Yes stookeyfpe. I really agree with you, but this chimney have already had two soot fire, so the client asked if there is an alternative protection to avoid the fire fighters operation. The last time that the firefighters were called, they poured the water directly into the chimney and in my opinion this is a dangerous operation. So I was thinking if there is a a specific fire protection for chimneys.

RE: Chimney protection

I had a fireplace for 28 years and used it frequently and NEVER had a chimney fire. BUT the flue was cleaned annually AND I only burned hard woods. As a firefighter I have had my share of chimney fires and the most common problem was lack of cleaning and burning softwood. And yea we used water to fight the fire. Installing a fire suppression system seems like a total waste of $$ just clean the darn thing more frequently!

RE: Chimney protection

Maybe you are talking about masonry chimney, for steel chimney the water can cause thermal shock. This case is not a chimney of a fireplace, but a chimney of cooling in a coffee toasting process. Unfortunaly the mantainance in the period of hard working process is not enough.

RE: Chimney protection

Maybe you need to re-examine your process and ask about other means of mitigating this. Or maybe, you line the chimney with refractory brick.

RE: Chimney protection

I think that whatever you use, ie, water or chemicals extinguishing agents, these products will be very cold in contrast to the temperature that the chimney will experience and consequently expect thermal shock. If it is a metal chimney and the chimney starts to deform from heat, the cold extinguishing agent will probably set the chimney in that deformation state.

RE: Chimney protection

Better a deformed sheetmetal "pipe" than a burned house/building/office.

RE: Chimney protection

We had an active system in place at the fire house, ME! Of course the Captain had to tell me what to do, each time. Tradition you know.

We would enter the house and be taken to the fireplace or wood burning stove.

The Captain would ask for a cup of warm water, then hand the cup to me. I opened the door and tossed the water in the fire box, where it turned turned to steam and went up the pipe. Then I closed the door. After a few minutes, the Captain would tell me to open the door, and look inside. I told the Captain if the fire was out or not. If not, I put another cup of water in the fire box. If the fire was put out, the Captain did the paperwork and we left. The system worked just fine. No damage to the flue, no water on the floor. Sometimes, I did have to ladder the roof and check for extension.

RE: Chimney protection

In truth, I have never seen a fire suppression system in chimneys and I have done over 20 years of property surveys that included industrial, commercial, educational and residential properties, a slew of power plants and some chemical plants.

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