Total Emergencies 2019

January 

Fire 24    Rescue/EMS 86

February 

Fire 25    Rescue/EMS 85

March

Fire  18    Rescue/EMS 63

April 

Fire 25     Rescue/EMS 77

May
Fire 17     Rescue/EMS 88

June

Fire 26     Rescue/EMS 72

July

Fire 32     Rescue/EMS 81

August

Fire 27     Rescue/EMS 86

September

Fire 18     Rescue/EMS 77

October

Fire 29     Rescue/EMS 82

The Facts About Chimney Fires

Your chimney–and the flue that lines it–adds architectural interest to your home, but its’ real function is to carry dangerous flue gases from your fireplace, wood stove or furnace safely out of your home. 

As you relax in front of your fireplace or bask in the warmth of your wood stove, the last thing you are likely to be thinking about is the condition of your chimney. However, if you don’t give some thought to it before you light those winter fires, your enjoyment may be very short-lived.

Why?

Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires, which damage structures, destroy homes and injure or kill people. ​

Indications of a chimney fire have been described as creating:

  • loud cracking and popping noise

  • a lot of dense smoke, and

  • an intense, hot smell

​Chimney fires can burn explosively – noisy and dramatic enough to be detected by neighbors or people passing by. Flames or dense smoke may shoot from the top of the chimney. Homeowners report being startled by a low rumbling sound that reminds them of a freight train or a low flying airplane. However, those are only the chimney fires you know about.

The best way to prevent a chimney fire is to have an annual inspection performed by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep.

Quicklinks

Download our Chimney Fires:
​Causes, Effects & Evaluation white paper!

The Majority of Chimney Fires Go Undetected
​Slow-burning chimney fires don’t get enough air or have fuel to be dramatic or visible and they often go undetected until a later chimney inspection, but, the temperatures they reach are very high and can cause as much damage to the chimney structure – and nearby combustible parts of the house – as their more spectacular cousins.

Creosote & Chimney Fires: What You Must Know
Fireplaces and wood stoves are designed to safely contain wood-fuel fires, while providing heat for a home. The chimneys that serve them have the job of expelling the by-products of combustion – the substances produced when wood burns. These include smoke, water vapor, gases, unburned wood particles, hydrocarbon, tar fog and assorted minerals. As these substances exit the fireplace or wood stove, and flow up into the relatively cooler chimney, condensation occurs. The resulting residue that sticks to the inner walls of the chimney is called creosote.  

Creosote is a black or brown residue that can be crusty and flaky…tar-like, drippy and sticky…or shiny and hardened. All forms are highly combustible. If it builds up in sufficient quantities – and the internal flue temperature is high enough – the result could be a chimney fire.  

Conditions that encourage the buildup of creosote:

  • restricted air supply

  • unseasoned wood

  • cooler than normal chimney temperatures


Air supply may be restricted by closing the glass doors, by failing to open the damper wide enough, and the lack of sufficient make-up air to move heated smoke up the chimney rapidly (the longer the smoke’s “residence time” in the flue, the more likely is it that creosote will form). A wood stove’s air supply can be limited by closing down the stove damper or air inlets too soon or too much. Burning unseasoned wood – because so much energy is used initially just to drive off the water trapped in the cells of the logs– keeps the resulting smoke cooler, than if seasoned wood is used. In the case of wood stoves, overloading the firebox with wood in an attempt to get a longer burn time also contributes to creosote buildup.

The Effect of a Chimney Fire on Your Chimney

Masonry Chimneys
When a chimney fire occurs in a masonry chimney – whether the flue is an older, unlined type or tile lined to meet current safety codes – the high temperatures at which they burn (around 2000°F) can “melt mortar, crack tiles, cause liners to collapse and damage the outer masonry material”.  Most often, thermal shock occurs and tiles crack and mortar is displaced, which provides a pathway for flames to reach the combustible wood frame of the house. This event is extremely dangerous, call 911 immediately.

Prefabricated, factory-built, metal chimneys
To be installed in most jurisdictions in the United States, factory built, metal chimneys that are designed to vent wood burning stoves or prefabricated metal fireplaces must pass special tests. Most tests require the chimney to withstand flue temperatures up to 2100°F – without sustaining damage. Under chimney fire conditions, damage to these systems still may occur. When prefabricated, factory-built metal chimneys are damaged by a chimney fire, they should no longer be used and must be replaced.  

Special Effects on Wood Stoves
Wood stoves are made to contain hot fires. The connector pipes that run from the stove to the chimney are another matter. They cannot withstand the high temperatures produced during a chimney fire and can warp, buckle and even separate from the vibrations created by air turbulence during a fire. If damaged by a chimney fire, they must be replaced.  

Nine Signs that You’ve Had a Chimney Fire 
Since a chimney, damaged by a chimney fire, can endanger a home and its’ occupants and a chimney fire can occur without anyone being aware of them it’s important to have your chimney regularly inspected by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. Here are the signs that a professional chimney sweep looks for:

  • “Puffy” or “honey combed” creosote

  • Warped metal of the damper, metal smoke chamber connector pipe or factory-built metal chimney

  • Cracked or collapsed flue tiles, or tiles with large chunks missing

  • Discolored and/or distorted rain cap

  • Heat-damaged TV antenna attached to the chimney

  • Creosote flakes and pieces found on the roof or ground

  • Roofing material damaged from hot creosote

  • Cracks in exterior masonry

  • Evidence of smoke escaping through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners​

If you think a chimney fire has occurred, call a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep for a professional evaluation. If your suspicions are confirmed, a certified sweep will be able to make recommendations about how to bring the system back into compliance with safety standards. Depending on the situation, you might need a few flue tiles replaced, a new liner system installed or an entire chimney rebuilt. Each situation is unique and will dictate its own solution.  

Proper Maintenance
Clean chimneys don’t catch fire. Make sure a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® inspects your solid fuel venting system annually, and sweeps and repairs it whenever needed. Your sweep may have other maintenance recommendations depending on how you use your fireplace or stove. CSIA recommends that you call on CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps®, since they are regularly tested on their understanding of the complexities of chimney and venting systems.   ​

Welcome to the New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department official website. Please visit often as our site will be regularly updated and enhanced. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. You may email the website manager (also a member) directly from the contact page.
 
NFVFD is an all volunteer fire department that is comprised of three fire companies:  Ball Pond Fire Co, Fire Company A, and Squantz Engine Co. We are currently comprised of over 80 active members, and many associate members. What makes the New Fairfield Volunteer Fire department one of the most valuable resources of the community is its dedicated volunteers. 
They place their lives at risk in order to save ours. Their services are based on extensive and continuous training, high tech equipment, teamwork, and maintaining on-going competence certification.

Please view our ABOUT US page for more information on who we are.

Why Join the Volunteer Fire/EMS Service?

Make an Impact in Your Community!

  • Have you ever heard a siren or seen a fire engine – and wondered what was happening?

  • Have you ever witnessed or come upon a motor vehicle accident – and wished you could help?

  • Have you been there when someone was stricken with sudden illness – and wanted to assist?

  • Are you looking for new lifelong friendships, challenges and rewards?

  • Do you want to become involved in your community?

  • Are you looking to supplement your retirement?

The fire and EMS service is one of the most diverse and challenging vocations today. It is this diversity that attracts most men and women to join our ranks.

Different people volunteer for different reasons. Action oriented people enjoy the excitement and adrenaline rush that emergency services has to offer. Some see the volunteer fire service as an alternative to ‘driving a desk by day’ – by allowing them to ‘drive a fire truck or ambulance at night!’

Many like the feeling they get when they help people in their time of need and some feel it’s their obligation to serve the community. Yet others just want to belong to the team. Whatever motivates you to volunteer – everyone gains the self-satisfaction of being at their best when others are dealing with what is often the worst that life has to offer.

Imagine having to prepare yourself to cope with situations that range from structure fires to childbirth to hazardous chemical spills to heart attacks to almost any imaginable emergency in between. This diversity is coupled with the fact that these skills may be needed at any time of the day or night, seven days a week, in any kind of weather, and very often under potentially stressful and emotional circumstances. Yet these same factors contribute to our profession being so personally rewarding.

We realize that firefighting & EMS is not for everyone, but we believe that volunteering can be. There is plenty of work to be done on or behind the scenes, too.

The personal rewards and satisfaction received from what we do is often beyond description. There is the sense of accomplishment when you control a building fire, joy and elation when a child is born, compassion for accident victims, and fulfillment from teaching fire safety.

The bottom line in our business is measured by the loss of life, pain and suffering, and the property damage we have prevented and reduced.

Volunteering in emergency services is one of the most important decisions you may make. We hope that you give this decision the time and serious consideration it deserves, and decide to join our ranks.

New Fairfield Tax Credit, Retirement Program, Great Experience … Just to Name A Few

The real reward is how you’ll feel about yourself — but that’s just the beginning.

Being a volunteer with the New Fairfield Fire/EMS department brings with it many benefits including a property tax deduction, a LOSAP (Length of Service Award Program) with retirement benefits, scholarship opportunities, professional development and leadership training and much more.

Contact chiefbpfd41@gmail.com if interested in joining our any question you may have

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