Chimney Fire Safety And Prevention

The crackling warmth of the fireplace can be really welcoming and a wonderful place to spend time with your loved ones on a cold evening. It is not uncommon that these relaxing fireplaces can be the cause of chimney fires too. According to the CSIA(Chimney Safety Institute of America), there are over 25,000 chimney fires per year in the US. Chimney fires can be devastating and can destroy homes, damage structures and harm your family. Here are some tips from the experts at Water Mold Fire Restoration about how you can prevent chimney fires.

 Types of Chimney Fires

The signs of a chimney fire are usually plenty of smoke and flames accompanied by loud popping and cracking sounds along with a hot, intense odor. Mostly, chimney fires burn explosively, but sometimes they burn very slowly too. There are essentially 2 types of chimney fires – slow burning and free burning.

 Slow Burning Chimney Fires

Slow burning fires are not very loud and sometimes they cannot even be detected. These fires burn very slowly at high temperatures. Always check that there are no abnormal amounts of smoke or flames coming from the chimney top.

Free Burning Chimney Fires

These are quite loud and may even sound like an airplane or a train and you can see large amounts of smoke and flames coming from the top of the chimney.

What Is Creosote?

Usually, the smoke, gases, water vapor, hydrocarbons, minerals, tar fog and the unburned particles of wood go out via the chimney. However, when condensation occurs, a thick and sticky residue is formed, which is known as creosote and this sticks to the inner walls of the chimney. Creosote is extremely combustible and the buildup of creosote easily causes a chimney fire.

How to Prevent a Chimney Fire

By following a few simple steps, you can prevent chimney fires.

Cleaning the Chimney Regularly

By removing the buildup of creosote, you can make sure that your chimney does not catch fire. This can be done once a year by making use of an extension pipe, a chimney brush and chemical creosote removers or you could call professionals who will do a deep cleaning of the chimney.

Don’t Burn Trash, Cardboard or Christmas Trees in the Fire

Putting these items in the fire causes excessive smoke and creosote buildup, which can cause a chimney fire.

 Use Dry and Seasoned Wood

Usually, unseasoned wood needs more energy to burn. This causes the cooler smoke to flow up the chimney and deposit more creosote on the walls of the chimney. Moist wood also does not burn very hot and causes plenty of smoke and creosote buildup. So, ensure that the wood you use is completely dry and seasoned.

What to Do in Case of a Chimney Fire

  • Alert all the members in your home that there is a fire and ask them to move to safety outside the house.
  • Use a chimney extinguisher, which is specially designed to fight chimney fires.
  • Close the doors and windows and cut off the oxygen supply. This can help to extinguish the fire before it gets out of control.
  • Check for any sparks that may come out from the top of the chimney. The sparks may ignite the roof or other flammable items nearby.
  • Using a garden hose, spray water around the chimney. This can reduce the risk of your roof catching fire.


By following these tips, you can prevent a chimney fire from occurring and if there is a fire-related emergency, our expert teams at Cousino Restoration can assist you in restoring your home quickly. You can call us at 800-874-2122