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Santa is Coming. Is Your Chimney Clean?

Act now to protect your home and family from chimney fires

As the weather gets colder and more fireplaces are in use, there is a corresponding rise in house fires originating from chimneys. You may be thinking, ‘Big deal. Aren’t chimneys capable of withstanding a little fire?’ Well, the answer is no. Chimneys are meant to contain smoke, not fire.

Jason Morgan, Fire Captain for the Tulsa Fire Department says, “Wood-burning fireplaces with masonry chimneys are the primary culprits of chimney fires. Over time, two things can occur. First, cracks may appear in masonry chimneys either from settling or from exposure to heat over time. These cracks can reveal framing and other flammable substances to the high heat meant to be contained by the chimney, leading to fires in walls and attics that spread undetected for quite a while before occupants of the house become aware of them.”

“The second contributing factor is soot accumulation which leads to potential creosote accumulation. With a sufficiently hot fire in the fireplace and sufficient creosote accumulation, the creosote will ignite and burn extremely hot,” he says. “This can result in shooting flames coming out of the top of the chimney and igniting the surrounding roof or escaping through those cracks in the chimney into the attic or wall space. The high heat of a creosote fire will also cause additional damage to the chimney itself.”  

To protect against this, be sure to have your masonry chimney cleaned and inspected regularly by a certified chimney sweep. They will check for dangerous creosote deposits, flue blockages, and other issues that could increase your chances of having a chimney fire.

Find a local CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep at Santa will thank you.

More than 25,000 chimney fires occur every year that result in over $120 million in homeowner property damage.