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Chimney Safety: Warning Signs

In 2014, 49% of residential fires caused by home heating equipment were due to fireplace/chimney problems. A properly cared for chimney system can completely prevent chimney fires.

Here are some signs that 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, tiles with large chunks missing or discolored, and a distorted rain cap

4. Heat-damaged TV antenna attached to the chimney

5. Creosote flakes and pieces found on the roof or ground

6. Roofing material damaged from hot creosote

7. Cracks in exterior masonry

8. Evidence of smoke escaping through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners

Clean chimneys don’t catch fire! Make sure a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep inspects your solid fuel venting system annually for cleaning and repairs whenever needed. Your sweep may also have other maintenance recommendations depending on how you use your fireplace or stove.

Check out the Chimney Safety Institute of America’s website, www.csia.org, to find a certified chimney sweep in our area.