Chimney Cleaning Overview | Best Pick Reports

Chimney fires.  Chimney fires are some of the hardest fires to extinguish, but they are also some of the easiest fires to prevent. As wood burns in a fireplace, it gives off creosote, which is commonly referred to as soot. As the creosote and smoke travel up, some of the creosote is deposited on the inside of the chimney. Since creosote is flammable, over time the buildup creates a chimney fire hazard. Chimney fires burn very hot, and the flames from a chimney fire can extend ten feet above the top of the chimney. Chimney fires are especially dangerous because they can quickly spread to the roof, the attic, or other wood framing around the chimney and ultimately destroy the entire house. If a chimney fire starts, get everyone out of the house as quickly as possible and call 911.

Fortunately, periodic chimney cleaning removes the creosote and greatly reduces the likelihood of fire. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having your chimney inspected annually by an expert.