Avoid Chimney Fires & Masonry Damage By Booking Your Chimney Sweeping Now

Chimney fires are a serious threat that all fireplace owners need to be aware of. They put your home and family at risk, and what makes them especially dangerous is their typically quiet nature. While most assume these are loud, obvious events, most occur quietly and slowly, meaning most won’t even realize their chimney has experienced extensive damage.

What Causes Chimney Fires?

The main cause of chimney fires is creosote buildup.

Creosote is a black, typically tar-like substance that builds up inside of your chimney as you burn wood in your firebox. The smoke from your fires rises, then cools and condenses, which then leaves a wall of sticky residue on the inside walls of the flue. The longer this substance sits in your chimney unaddressed, the harder the creosote becomes, which can make it especially difficult to remove.

What makes creosote dangerous?

Creosote is dangerous because it is highly combustible. And once it catches on fire, it burns hotly and intensely, allowing flames to spread throughout your entire flue’s interior.

Most assume their chimney is built to withstand these high temps, but this isn’t the case. While your firebox can face direct contact with flames, no problem, your chimney is simply designed as a funnel for smoke and fumes. As flames come into contact with your masonry materials and metal components, they will crack, warp, and break down, making your system ultimately unsafe for use.

Flue full of dark black creosote.
Top of chimney on fire blue sky with clouds in the background - the tile is terracotta.

How Can I Prevent Chimney Fires?

What’s the best way to avoid chimney fires and excessive creosote buildup?

  • Book regular chimney maintenance. Scheduling chimney inspections and chimney sweepings/cleanings with a professional sweep is the most effective way to prevent chimney fires from occuring.
  • Burn only seasoned wood. Burn only dry, well-seasoned wood, as burning wet wood leads to cooler fires and more condensation – which, in turn, results in higher amounts of creosote in your flue.
  • Invest in a quality liner. A reliable and properly installed chimney liner improves overall performance and reduces the amount of creosote accumulation you experience.
  • Purchase a chimney cap. A chimney cap that’s reliable and properly fitted will prevent debris and animals from entering your chimney, which will then reduce the risk of chimney fires.
  • Ensure proper airflow. Good draft and airflow is key to efficient fireplace functioning and minimal creosote accumulation.

Signs You’ve Had a Chimney Fire

Concerned you may have experienced a chimney fire, but aren’t sure? Common signs include:

Puffy creosote in the chimney

Warped or distorted chimney cap

Discoloration throughout the flue

Damaged metal components

Smoke exiting through the masonry walls

Cracked/collapsed flue tiles

Creosote flakes on your roof or in your firebox

Damaged roofing materials or tv antenna

Cracking in your exterior masonry

Chimney and roof on fire of brick home with lots of windows in the front.

Reach Out to Our Certified Sweeps Today

Our sweeps are certified, educated, and insured. Reach out now to get the high level of chimney care you deserve. We’re ready to take your call!

You can also book your next appointment through our convenient online form.


A chimney cleaning can help prevent the risk of chimney fires and our chimney and fireplace services crew is ready to get it done for you.