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  • Chimney Chains

    How many departments use them? Typically chimney chain sets are something that are made up by the department and not something you can buy already set up by a fire equipment distributor or anything. Would departments be interested in buying these if there were a market for them and a way to purchase?

    Just looking for some info. Thanks.

  • #2
    Rolo:
    We have done exactly what you suggest. That is use chains that have been deemed questionable as to integrity due to excessive strain in one situation or another. A 20 or 30 ft length of 3/8" or 5/16" chain is a load for a firefighter when standing on a snow covered roof, or standing on an extension ladder propped against a free standing masonery chimney. In a recent discussion after a tough job, we decided to try a set-up with a 1/4" aircraft cable and some moderate weights. The cable is wound on a cheap boat winch attached to a couple of angle irons that span the top of the stack and allow the firefighter to wind up the cable with the crank. We have not had occasion to use it in the month since it was completed. Will probably have an opportunity in the next couple of months, or certainly by Christmas Eve when the clueless take to burning all the wrappings while exchanging gifts.

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    • #3
      We use 4x6 steel washers(plates)on a 1/2" eybolt attached to a 5/16's chain,50' long. T.C.

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      • #4
        Just use the tip to knock over the chimney......

        We still use em, we actually made one out of four 8 inch pieces of chain clipped together, with a 30 or so foot piece of rope to lower it. The rope takes a lot of wieght off. In our "chimney kit" we also have a coffee can or two of dry powder and a few powder bombs, made of dry chem in a sandwich bag.
        Matt G.
        Battalion Chief
        IACOJ-Member
        FTM-PTB

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        • #5
          chimney equipment

          We have a selection of tools. We have 5/16" chain with quick link chain connectors on them that attach to different ends. The ends are old window counterbalance weights, a square and round scraper disc welded to a 2 foot long 1/2 " pipe, with rings on each end to push or pull both directions. We also have steel and nylon chimney cleaning brushes and the fiberglass extension rods that go with them. old truck mirrors clamped to a short section of pipe to look up without getting a face full of burning embers. welding blankets to cover floor in front of fireplace, or to put down when taking stove pipe apart. They also can help to use as draft control for fireplaces that don't have a damper. We learned the hard way to use steel connectors and fittings. We used to have fireman style clips on the ends of the chains, but found that they melt when they are subjected to a super hot fire in the chimney. Jon
          GFR22

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          • #6
            Kuhshise, have you tried your set up in training or anything?

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            • #7
              What about just blowing some dry chem up the chimeny and letting the draft effect take over?
              Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

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              • #8
                God, I hate chimney chains. We used to use them years ago. I remember one time running the chains up and down a chimney trying to clear the creosote. The fire was still raging so hot down below that as I pulled the chains back up to check everything with the mirror, the links were glowing red and started burning my gloves. I yelled and dropped the chains on the shingle roof and promptly started a small roof fire. Not my best day.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chief_Roy View Post
                  God, I hate chimney chains. We used to use them years ago. I remember one time running the chains up and down a chimney trying to clear the creosote. The fire was still raging so hot down below that as I pulled the chains back up to check everything with the mirror, the links were glowing red and started burning my gloves. I yelled and dropped the chains on the shingle roof and promptly started a small roof fire. Not my best day.
                  We have heavy asbestos mittens we use when using the chimney chains.
                  Crazy, but that's how it goes
                  Millions of people living as foes
                  Maybe it's not too late
                  To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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                  • #10
                    When handling chains, use heavy welding gloves. They still can get pretty hot, so you have to take care.

                    Why settle for a small roof fire, just drop them over the side and set the yard, trash, car, [insert something here] on fire...

                    Give the guys on the ground something to do.
                    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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                    • #11
                      We use powder or whatever means necessary to extinguish the fire. We then check for extension into the attic space. If all is ok we clean up our mess and recommend to the homeowner that they have their chimney cleaned and inspected before using again. We also educate the homeowner on how to minimize creasote buildup. Then we go home.

                      We are not chimney sweeps nor are we trained to do so. Chains and the like can damage a chimney if not used properly. I understand community relations and helping folks out but why assume that liability?
                      My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Blulakr View Post
                        We use powder or whatever means necessary to extinguish the fire. We then check for extension into the attic space. If all is ok we clean up our mess and recommend to the homeowner that they have their chimney cleaned and inspected before using again. We also educate the homeowner on how to minimize creasote buildup. Then we go home.

                        We are not chimney sweeps nor are we trained to do so. Chains and the like can damage a chimney if not used properly. I understand community relations and helping folks out but why assume that liability?
                        I didn't like doing it at the time either, and it made little sense to me. But this was a long time ago when I was a grunt and the chief told me to get my butt up there and run the chains, so I did. I think I actually asked about the reasoning once, and some crusty old timer told me it was because large chunks of creosote could make it tough to make sure the fire was out completely so it was necessary to run the chains to make sure there was nothing remaining to burn in the chimney.

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                        • #13
                          Chains may not be needed everytime. But when used, the idea is to break up the fuel so your suppression tactics work better. In most cases, well placed chimney bombs (Sodium bicarbonate filled baggies) will do the trick.

                          There are times that chimney bombs will knock down a fire, only to have it rekindle due to excessive build up of fuel (creosote) that is only temporarily reduced to a smolder state. The purpose of the chains is to try to dislodge and break up these clumps.


                          _____

                          EDIT-> One thing is sure... if you fail to stop the chemical reaction, one of two things are likely to happen;

                          1) the fire will extinguish itself as fuel is exhausted (used up).

                          2) the fire will continue to grow and extend into attic/structure as building materials begin to fail or ignite.

                          So while you may not like to use the chains because they could damage the chimney, it is a better alternative than allowing the fire to extend to the point where the chimney no longer serves any practical application - i.e. the house is gone.

                          Not trying to be controversial or cause an issue... just stating a fact.
                          Last edited by PaladinKnight; 11-18-2010, 04:56 PM.
                          HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bushwhacker View Post
                            What about just blowing some dry chem up the chimeny and letting the draft effect take over?
                            That's OK IF you have a draft. A lot of the time here the creosote creates a plug. So you have to get a hole in it QUICK before it finds the weak spot in the Liner or mortar. We've even had to take a Plumbers snake to them from below to start. T.C.

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                            • #15
                              I have to concur with Rescue101. If smoke has built up inside the structure, you don't have a draft. It is plugged.

                              Many times your only going to be effective from the top side, and time is critical.

                              EDIT->

                              It is important to understand what you have and be able to take appropriate action.
                              HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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