Make Sure Your Fall Doesn’t Start in Flames

Orange Brick House Chimnney

The leaves are changing and the air is beginning to cool. Along with the change in season comes National Chimney Safety Week. As you are aware, it’s vital to the health and safety of your community and citizens to regularly clean and maintain chimneys. September 27th-October 3rd marks National Chimney Safety Week and to educate the public about the occasion, we have debunked four common myths about fireplaces.

MYTH: The chances of having multiple chimney fires are slim.

The chances of having a chimney fire increase if the home has already experienced one. Sometimes chimney fires aren’t caused by buildup but instead result from poor construction.

MYTH: Gas-burning fireplaces don’t need inspected.

Gas-burning fireplaces do not leave a visible residue like the soot and creosote of a wood-burning fireplace. Because of this, people often dismiss inspections of their gas-burning fireplaces when in fact corrosive substances are still present. This is a helpful link to share that allows users to search by zip code and find a professional chimney sweep in their area.

MYTH: Creosote is easy to spot.

Creosote, defined as “the harmful residue that sticks to the inner walls of the chimney,” can appear in many forms. Creosote can be black or brown, flaky or sticky. This highly combustible substance can easily cause chimney fires.

MYTH: It’s difficult to spot a chimney fire.

There are some clear signs that homeowners can keep a watchful eye on to prevent chimney fires. The Chimney Safety Institute of America lists “Nine Signs You’ve Had a Chimney Fire:”

  1. “Puffy” or “honey combed” creosote
  2. Warped metal of the damper, metal smoke chamber connector pipe or factory-built metal chimney
  3. Cracked or collapsed flue tiles, or tiles with large chunks missing
  4. Discolored and/or distorted rain cap
  5. Heat-damaged TV antenna attached to the chimney
  6. Creosote flakes and pieces found on the roof or ground
  7. Roofing material damaged from hot creosote
  8. Cracks in exterior masonry
  9. Evidence of smoke escaping through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners

Stay tuned to Fire-Dex’s blog as we gear up for Fire Prevention Week.



Chimney Safety Institute of America

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