Chimney safety tips to prevent house fire

Smoke from a chimney.

Chimney are a very important part of the heating plant in homes where winters are cold.

But unless they are properly constructed and regularly inspected they can become a fire hazard.

Defective chimneys are one of the leading causes for residential fires.

Are you endangering your home by failing to check your chimney?

Safety tips for your chimney

A man sweeping a chimney.

An unsafe chimney is often one that has no lining in the flue or the enclosed passageway for the smoke.

The chemical action of the fuel gases on the unprotected brickwork causes a gradual disintegration of the bricks and mortar.

A flue lining provides protection from this action.

Disintegration of the masonry and the effect of temperature changes can cause cracks in the chimney that can be dangerous.

When the large deposits of soot, which collects easily in an unlined chimney, catch fire, the flames may shoot through the cracks and set fire to the house.

This has been the cause of many roof fires.

In some instances a chimney fire will not go up the chimney but Will reverse itself and shoot out into the room where the fireplace is, setting fire to the house.

The removal of soot is necessary to avoid such fires.

The inside of a chimney should have a smooth surface so that soot cannot easily collect there.

Flue linings create such a surface.

The linings should be made of fire clay or other refractory clay that is able to resist changes in temperature and the chemical action of chimney gases.

The smooth linings Will even improve the draft or upward flow of air through the chimney.

From time to time a chimney should be cleaned of its accumulated soot.

The rate at which it accumulates depends upon the type of fuel that is being burned.

Eventually, even chimneys with flue linings will gather a certain amount of soot.

Once a year the soot should be removed if there are accumulations.

This can be done by a chimney sweep, where one is available.

If you want to do the job yourself, wrap a brick in an old piece of carpet material.

Tie a rope around it and lower the brick into the chimney.

It will clean the flue satisfactorily.

Attempting to burn the soot out of the chimney, as some people do, is not safe.

Other persons may try to remove it with chemicals, but the effectiveness of this method is offset by the danger of. explosions.

The use of a carpet-covered brick is a safe method.

Inspection of a chimney can be done by means of a flashlight lowered into the chimney on a rope, or it can be inspected from the bottom with the aid of a mirror.

When inspecting it, be alert not only for soot but also for the nests of birds, squirrels and bats that may have been built during the summer months when the chimney was not in use.

These obstructions should be removed.

Check for cracks in the flue lining and in the outside brickwork.

If the chimney has no lining, and cracks are found in the bricks, and mortar has begun to fall away from between them, the chimney should be rebuilt.

It is better to rebuild a chimney than to use one that is unsafe.

A chimney should be built from the ground up, with its weight resting on its own sturdy foundation.

If it is an interior chimney, going up through the inside of the house, it will be more efficient than one going up the outside of the house, because it is kept warm.

This helps in having a good draft that expels the smoke.

The walls of such chimneys need only be four inches thick when flue lining is used, whereas the exterior chimneys should have eight-inch walls.

This is needed to protect the chimney from cracking because of winds, storms and frost.

The walls of interior chimneys should be thickened to eight inches just below the roof and for the length that is exposed to the weather above the roof.

A space of at least two inches should separate the chimney from all wooden beams, joists and flooring.

Never should wood studding or lathing be placed against a chimney.

Fire-stopping material should be placed in the two-inch space between the chimney and all wood construction.

This should be a porous, nonmetallic, noncombustible material such as concrete.

When a chimney is encased by a wood partition, the bricks should be given a coat of cement plaster.

At the roof the chimney should extend at least two feet above the highest part of the roof.

If its height is less than this, a ridge of the roof can affect its operation by disrupting the flow of air around it. A down draft can be created, causing a smoky chimney.

Chimneys in houses with flat roofs should extend at least three feet above the roof.

The higher chimneys are built, the better the draft will be in them.

Extending the height of a chimney is usually the best solution for a smoky chimney, providing that the heating appliance is functioning properly and the chimney is properly designed.

The top of the chimney should have a cap of a noncombustible and weatherproof material such as stone, terra-cotta or concrete.

The opening should be kept larger than the flue so as not to hinder the draft.

A round hue, incidentally, appears to be the best shape as it presents less friction to the heated gases, which tend to rise in a circular column.

They do not fill the corners of a rectangular flue lining, making it less effective.

But since rectangular flue linings are cheaper to make, they are more widely used.

In neighborhoods where sparks could cause fires, spark arrestors should be installed in the chimney.

They should be made of a durable material such as nickel alloy, because they usually are not easily reached for replacement.

What shortens the life of arrestors made from less sturdy material is the abrasion caused by hot coals and cinders passing by them in the smoke.

A smoke test should be given a chimney when it is finished and from time to time thereafter to check it for leaks.

This is done by burning paper, tar paper, straw or wood at the base of the flue.

When the smoke rises in a dense column, cover the top of the chimney by wedging a wet blanket tightly into the flue.

Smoke can then be seen coming out of cracks and other flaws in the masonry if any exist. A well made chimney should show no leaks.

By checking your chimney from time to time and by cleaning it of soot, nests and anything else that might obstruct it, you can keep it in good working order.

More than that, the time and effort you devote to caring for it will help protect your home from fire.

It pays to check that chimney.

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How to cope with irritations of every day life?

An irritated woman.

When an elderly woman admitted to her grandchildren that she had never ridden on a train, they bought her a  ticket to a nearby town where a  friend lived.

Elated, she got on the train and, after arranging her packages, settled down.

Soon she noticed the upholstery was somewhat torn.

Crumbling, she picked up her belongings and looked for another seat.

Soon she was annoyed by the whimpering of an infant across the aisle.

She moved again.

But here the sun seemed too bright, so she moved to another part of the car.

Hardly had she begun looking out the window to enjoy the scenery when the conductor called out the name of the town.

Stunned that her trip was at an end, she remarked to her friend that she wished she had not spent so much time in being annoyed.

Triumph over petty annoyances

Waiting at an airport terminal.

By failing to triumph over petty annoyances many persons of all ages miss out on much enjoyment and make themselves unnecessarily miserable.

Missing a bus, streetcar or subway train by a few seconds may upset some persons so much that their blood pressure jumps up.

And some become upset if the train in which they are traveling is a few minutes late.

Others cannot triumph over a little irritation such as an unexpected interruption or a momentary flickering on the television screen.

Some motorists give way to heavy honking at the slightest slowdown in traffic.

An untactful remark or some slight lack of consideration by a friend or neighbor can disquiet many persons for days.

So one could spend a great deal of time being agitated, especially since there will be petty annoyances in every walk of life.

Service in a restaurant may be delayed and some persons, not really pressed for time, may become quite irritated, so much so that they can hardly enjoy their meal when it arrives.

One person’s failure to conquer a trifle may be contagious, so we should guard that the discomposure of someone else does not upset us.

If one in a group turns irritable over a trifle, what could be done?

Everyone’s freezing up and engendering a chilly silence is not the solution.

Ridiculing the irritated person is not the way either.

Some persons solve such matters by finding the bright side of the subject and kindly commenting on it or by tactfully changing the conversation to some interesting topic.

Talk on up building and cheerful things and thus help the disturbed person conquer the trifle.

Will we let trifles conquer us or will we conquer them?

The good qualities by which one can overcome petty disappointments and nuisances are those of self-control, patience and love.

Generally the conquers trifles by letting them pass by without harping on them.

If we are seeking love, if we want to earn the love of another, we will overlook his transgression and not make it a subject of common gossip.

We cannot expect the habits of others always to please us; but if we have love we put into practice the fact that love “does not look for its own interests.”

Conquer trifles by do sometimes, for the sake of many persons, small faults may need to be brought to someone’s attention, but the manner in which we do this shows whether we have conquered trifles.

To reprove small faults with vehemence and agitation is as absurd as if a person should take a hammer to swat a fly on his friend’s forehead.

Since minor irritations will enter one’s life, we can learn a lesson from the oyster.

When an irritation enters the life of an oyster, the animal does not like it, and he tries to get rid of it.

But when he cannot get rid of the irritation he settles down to make one of the most beautiful things in nature.

He uses the irritation to make a pearl.

So when an irritation comes into your life, make a pearl out of it, though it may have to be a pearl of patience.

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How to use your strength efficiently while working?

A woman taking a nap.

Do often feel tired, worn out, before the end of your workday?

If so, you can take comfort from the fact that you are by no means alone.

Yet one cannot help but notice that some people tire out less quickly than do others; they seem to get more done with less expenditure of their strength.

For them work is a pleasure, as it should be.

Wisely humans are equipped for working.

Humans were supplied with strong bones and muscles so that he could do needed physical work, and an amazing brain with which they do all manner of mental work.

They also constituted emotionally so as to get satisfaction and happiness from doing good and useful work.

What will help you to make the most of your strength while working?

Taking an interest in your work

Excited about work.

One thing that will greatly help is taking an interest in your work.

How so?

Because of the power of the emotions over the body.

When a young boy’s mother asks him to do some chores about the house, he may plead that he is tired.

But the next minute he may be expending all manner of energy playing ball with his youthful neighbors.

He finds the one activity emotionally satisfying, but not the other.

By taking a real interest in your work you can make it emotionally rewarding and so easier to do.

And you can spark your interest in your work by analyzing why it is necessary, why it is work that needs to be done.

Also you can increase your interest in it by reminding yourself of your own reason for doing it: because it supplies the necessities of life for yourself and your loved ones.

And you can further increase your interest in your work by giving thought to improving the quality of it, or your efficiency in doing it.

The resulting satisfaction will help you to dispel any feeling of boredom, which so often keeps a person from making the most of his strength while working.

Arranging of your tools or materials well

Well arranged medical equipment.

If you would make the most of your strength while working, you also do well to learn to avoid unnecessary movements.

A help in this regard is the arranging of your tools or materials in the most convenient way.

Modern kitchens are designed so as to require a minimum of steps on the part of the housewife as she prepares her meals.

She can use this principle in everything she does.

So can the farmer, the mechanic, the carpenter and others.

Employers often handsomely reward employees who come up with practical suggestions for improving the efficiency of an operation.

For this very purpose efficiency experts are hired.

Helpful in this regard is using both hands whenever doing so makes a task easier or quicker to do.

When lifting heavy objects, do not put the whole strain on your back by just bending over, but bend your knees so as to utilize the strength of your leg muscles.

Failure to do this has caused many people to rupture needlessly.

On the other hand, do not involve more of your body than is needed to perform a certain task.

Do not involve your whole arm when only your wrists or forearms are required to move.

Proper training should not be overlooked.

Often haste to get going on a job causes one to neglect proper instruction or training and so one proceeds in a manner that is not efficient and wastes much time and strength.

For example, one may acquire a typewriter and find much use for it.

But if one does not take the time first to learn to use it correctly, by the “touch” system, one will use just a finger of each hand, the so-called “hunt and peck” system, which is no system at all.

Not only is such typing slower and less likely to be accurate, but it is also far more wearying.
Being able to pace yourself is also helpful in conserving your strength while working.

If you are both nervous and conscientious, you most likely are prone to go just as fast as you can go.

As a result you are likely to make more mistakes as well as to be exhausted before your workday is ended. 

Regulate your rest, eating  and sleep well

A man taking a nap.

Learn to control your eagerness and to adopt a calm, steady pace.

Then you will not be exhausted before quitting time and will even have some strength left for the evening hours.

Another factor to consider, if you would make the most of your strength while working, is not to burden yourself by overeating.

Too rich and too heavy meals tend to slow you down and make application to tasks at hand more laborious.

Such meals also tend to make you overweight, and the fat person often finds all manner of physical work much harder to do.

It is important to get sufficient rest and sleep.

The amount of strength you have in the first place depends to a considerable extent on what you do each night.

Do not pursue pleasures so avidly that doing your work becomes a hardship or boring.

In particular is adequate sleep essential to restore your mental and nervous energy.

It is even more vital than food and drink.

But regardless of your vocation in life, it is the course of wisdom to give thought to making the most of your strength while working.

It results not only in efficiency but also in satisfaction and enjoyment of your work.

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