Baird, David J. Factory-built Chimney Chase Fires: A case For More Detailed
Inspection. Building Standards. March/April, 1991.
Abstract: This article investigates a string of fires in California
that have been attributed to chimney chases with attached decorative metal
sheet shrouds. Because of their popularity, many types of untested metal
shrouds have made their way to the marketplace.
Most manufactured factory-built fireplaces include instructions on building
a chase flashing; however, none provide specifications for attaching anything
to the top of them. According to the Uniform Mechanical Code, it is a violation
to build a chase flashing without completely following the manufacturers
The investigations of the California fires determined that the installed
decorative metal sheets heated and ignited surrounding combustibles. The
article lists and describes the four types of metal sheet shrouds that are
commonly attached to chimney flashings for decoration. These present a serious
fire hazard because the factory-built chimneys cannot support additional