The pjstar reported that a bird’s nest caused an estimated $20,000 damage to a North Peoria home after igniting inside the flue of the chimney. According to the report, most of the fire was contained to the area of the fireplace, with minor damage to the attic of the home. “A bird’s nest located around the firebox and flue area appeared to have been ignited by the heat of a fire in the fireplace, then spread flames to the area around the chimney.”
Central County Fire & Rescue warn home owners about the potential fire hazards of abandoned bird nests in chimney flues.
“Bird nests in the chimney flue can ignite and extend to the rest of your house. In the spring, birds build nests up in high places; trees, utility poles, houses and, of course, chimney flues. The eggs hatch and the birds abandon the nest through the summer. During the first cold snap in the fall, everyone lights up the first fire of the season. If the flue has not been checked, a hot ember can be carried up the thermal column in the flue and land in the flammable nesting material. The burning nest can either burn out harmlessly or fall onto your roof or into the combustible chase, or through an opening in your attic, causing a major fire.”
It is important to have your chimney flue checked prior to the first ignition of your fireplace for the winter season. In order to prevent birds from roosting and nesting in your fireplace throughout the year, bird deterrents may be a viable option. For a complete listing of humane bird repellents, please visit Bird Barrier America.