To Whom It May Concern:
I found your article through a Google search.
We have a fireplace insert from which a very foul smell is coming. I believe there is a dead animal behind the unit which is inaccessible. Are the products Foaming Agent Termitafoam or Odor Destroyer safe to use in an area where there will be a fire? The fireplace has been converted to gas (LP).
Thank You for your assistance.
As explained in our ODOR CONTROL article. It’s always best to remove any dead body from voids and spaces in the home when trying to reduce the odor associated with it’s natural decay and decomposition. This will help in the long run enabling the odor control solutions we recommend to work faster, more efficiently and without having to constantly battle a new supply of odor molecules. In fact fire place inserts are a common route of entry for many animals like squirrels, flying squirrels, roof rats, snakes and birds. Once inside they’ll be trapped and in most cases die quickly. This is most common in the summer months when temperatures can soar to quite high.
In most cases the animal will end up landing on top of the flue flap, just above the hearth, and can many times be reached by hand. Have you looked or felt this area to see if there is a body within reach? If so, don some safety equipment like a good RESPIRATOR a pair of NITRILE GLOVES and a FACE MASK. Once properly dressed, go ahead and reach up attempting to remove as much of the animal as possible. This will really help make the process of odor removal a lot easier.
If you’re not able to “find” anything above the flue and if you look up it from the hearth and the inside appears to be “clear”, it could be the animal has died between the flue and the outside siding. Commonly referred to as the fireplace frame or chimney box, this space can many times become the final resting place of many animals. Generally inaccessible from the inside or the outside, anything that falls in there and dies can be a lingering problem unless you’re able to gain access to remove it. I’ve dealt with many such problems and sometimes removing the very bottom of the “box” is all that’s needed. From that point you can sometimes remove the animal if it fell all the way down. But sometimes they get stuck mid way between the top and bottom and if that happens, you must somehow cut access through the side of the firebox for a direct “reach in” approach. The last resort can be from the top to use a “drop line” removal system. Reaching in from the bottom or side is always preferred since it usually means you’ll be able to remove as much of the animal as possible using your hands. Gaining access from above usually means using a drop line with a hook attached to it. This can turn out to be a tedious, time consuming and down right messy way to remove the animal but in some cases the only choice. Regardless, doing so will make the chore of odor removal that much easier.
Once you’ve either located the dead animal and know it’s the inside or the outside of the flue that needs to be treated, you may proceed with the NNZ treatment. This can be done without concerns of a fire hazard being created. Directly spraying the area would be ideal yielding the best overall result. But if needed, you may inject the space using our FOAMING TOOL with some FOAMING AGENT. This won’t present a hazard either if allowed to dry thoroughly prior to the area being used as a fireplace again.
In the end, the best results will always be achieved when the area where the animal has been lying is sprayed after the animal is removed. This will be true whether it’s actually in the fireplace insert, the chimney box or some place in between.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Odor Control Article: http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page200.html
Nitrile Gloves: http://www.bugspray.com/item/nitrile_gloves.html
Foaming Tool: http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page885.html
Foaming Agent: http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page886.html