Briar is a very heat resistant material, nevertheless it is still just wood, which can be damaged by heat. Your pipe works in a similar way as a fireplace. If you open the air valve the wood burns much faster and more furious. If you draw with too much force at your pipe, the ember will get to a small fire and probably will damage the inside of your pipe. If the pipe gets too hot, immediately put it aside and let it cool down.
Burners taste and smell unpleasant and beyond that are visible. If you recognize fire damage inside the bowl, under no circumstances continue to smoke the pipe. You will provoke a total loss, which in most cases will not be replaced by the manufacturer. Bring the pipe to your pipe shop, and your dealer will send the pipe to a repair shop. In the first states of a burner the pipe can be saved with a protective coating without any difficulties.
Most burners will not be replaced by the pipe manufacturers for the above reasons. There are some exceptions however. If the pipe does not show a large burned area, but a small pointed funnel shaped hole, it suggests that this was a faulty spot – a small stone inside the wood or a cavern. Also, if the smoke channel was drilled too close to the outside and the pipe is very thin walled, an eligible reason for reclamation can occur.
If the pipe has a large burned area with fissures, in most cases the pipe was smoked too hot. Most burners are situated around the blowhole, there the generated heat is very strong if the suction is too high.
The bottom of a lot of complained pipes is very thin, but pipe manufacturers would never ship out such thin walled pipes. Even if every series pipe is slightly different, the wall strenght is the same in every single piece.
If the pipe is still warm and moist, the wood is especially prone to damage from scratching out the bowl, so please let the pipe cool down before cleaning. Also the attempt to smoke the last crumb ob tobacco often ends with a burner, because the lighter flame gets too close to the wood.
Fire damage in the upper part of the bowl are usually caused during the lighting process. You should always move the flame in a circular and even way. If you hold the flame to the same spot too long, the wood can burn very fast. You can easily identify left-handed pipe smokers with a burner on the right side of the bowl and vice versa.
In the end we have to mention one more thing: If you want to smoke on the bike, in the car with open windows, or on a boat – you should use a pipe with a lid. The lid will protect the pipe from generating too much heat caused by the increased wind.