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Fireplace catastrophie

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ranechild
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Location: Baltimore, MD

Fireplace catastrophie

Post by ranechild » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:29 pm

last night, just as we were putting the last two logs on the fire (finally warm after a day of 8 degree F weather), the smoke stopped going up the chimney. It came in the house. We were in the living room wathcing TV and it got worse and worse. we've had the problem sometimes when the wind blows hard, but there was no wind.
The birds are in the room. We quickly moved Camo in his cage to the spare bedroom with the door closed. I got Fats' travel cage and got him into the room too. He did very well with getting into his travel cage.
We worked to put out the fire in the fireplace and openned the doors (BRRRRRR) and ran fans and fanned towels and finally got hte smoke cleared out. We moved the birds back to the normal locations--they were freaked out!


But now the house smells very very bad. Of course, then my boyfriend goes and gets Oust from the bathroom and starts spraying it in the living room... I yelled "Stop!!!!!" He didn't know it was bad for the birds. so after that I'm freaked out that the birds are going to get sick and die from the spray.

I am looking for ways to get the smoke smell out of the house, since openning the place up and airing it out is not an option when it's 19 degrees outside. (Saturday it'll be in the 50's so I might do it then)

I'm going to wash all the fabrics--take the cover off the IKEA couch and wash it, all the sheets in our bedroom are smoky (makes it very hard to sleep). I have to wash all the clothes that were out in the bedroom. I'm going to put out little bowls of vinegar all over the house to absorb odor. I'm going to get some fresh newspapers and scatter them around the house. But the other thing I can do is use baking soda. Is baking soda safe for birds? I can put out dishes of it, but what kind of want to do is sprinkle it on the carpet and vacuum. How do we feel about that strategy?

Fats has a habitf climbing down his cage and wlaking across the floor scavenging the food he's dropped and walking over to us on the couch. If I put baking soda on the floor, is that going to be bad for him or potentially harmful?

AJPeter
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Re: Fireplace catastrophie

Post by AJPeter » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:15 pm

I cannot help you about baking soda, but it seems plug ins are safe would they help mask the smell? Have you found out what caused the blockage in the chimney? Perhaps a stork was warming his bottom and got stuck? Would wearing surgical face masks help? The weather people say we are next in line for your cold weather, it will make a change from constant rain!

MissK
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Re: Fireplace catastrophie

Post by MissK » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:07 pm

I have not heard anything about Arm & Hammer presenting any danger, though I wouldn't want them to eat it. I confess, I was actually relieved when I read the problem was smoke everywhere and not losing a bird in the fireplace! It's all relative.

That said, you're facing a major problem. I understand there are actually companies who clean up after accidents, such as house fires. Maybe you can find one? My mom swears by plain vinegar as a smell remover. Maybe you can take a smoked up item, treat it with vinegar away from other smokey things (so it doesn't pick up the scent from them) and see how that goes. I use a spray bottle of vinegar and water to clean up after dog accidents (not so much, since the little guy left, thank goodness) and it works well. Not perfectly, but well.

Give the Oust to your favourite neighbor. I'd be pretty suspicious about plug ins, myself. Get your chimney swept. It should be cleaned every year anyway, for safety. Other things that might, possibly, suck up nasty smells are cut onions (no birds should eat them) and activated charcoal. Not sure where you will get that for a reasonable price. Maybe you can rent an air filter, like one of those free-standing air purifiers? I'm concerned that the stuff that smells smokey will always smell smokey, even after the air is cleaned. You may be buying some new stuff.
: (
-MissK

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ranechild
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Re: Fireplace catastrophie

Post by ranechild » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:44 am

Actually, the house doesn't smell to bad right. Only the fabric things still have a lingering smell.

I put out dishes of vinegar and baking soda. we'll see how things are tonight. I am going to have to wash the blankets on the couch and the coats that were hanging, but it looks like I might now have to do the carpet. The smoke didn't get down to the carpet for the most part.

Although--I probably should rent a carpet shampooer and clean them just out of the necessity for cleanliness-- that'll have to wait for spring.

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InTheAir
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Re: Fireplace catastrophie

Post by InTheAir » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:18 pm

I was scared to read this thread! I was imagining cooked parrots!
I'm glad everyone is Ok!
Our house got mildly smoked out a couple weeks ago from a bush fire 100kms away, luckily the birds were fine and the smell didn't stick around. I'm so glad the curtains didn't pick up the smell as they are ceiling to floor length and way too big for our washing machine.

electronegative
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Re: Fireplace catastrophie

Post by electronegative » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:43 am

AJPeter wrote:but it seems plug ins are safe
They are not safe, at least not the chemical-based kind (most commercial ones). They release toxic fumes that might smell lovely to us but terrible for our birds' respiratory systems.

One of these chemicals is dichlorobenzene, which might be a carcinogen.

AJPeter
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Re: Fireplace catastrophie

Post by AJPeter » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:00 pm

Yes that is a good point to remember Electronegative, personally l do not use air refreshers or plugs in, a bowl of fuit makes a nice smell as it vegetates on the sideboard, evil smells from outside such as bonfires see me slaming windows shut and soon that smell goes.

lilgiggles1012
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Re: Fireplace catastrophie

Post by lilgiggles1012 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:07 pm

I got scared when I read this. We lost power in MAINE for three days and on Christmas Eve we decided to take all animals with us and get a hotel. As I was putting the Bird in his cage we went to fly into our very hot wood stove because we had just had a fire in it as well I grab him by the tail because it was the only way to save him. I oulled his tail feathers out out but hes alive and safe

AJPeter
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Re: Fireplace catastrophie

Post by AJPeter » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:43 pm

You were lucky or blessed, better a bird with no tail feathers than tail feathers and no bird!

sanjays mummi
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Re: Fireplace catastrophie

Post by sanjays mummi » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:01 am

Febreze may be ok to use on your fabrics, if you can get it where you are, but I would cover the cages while you use it.

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