One of the dangers of maintaining a fireplace is chimney fires. One
related cause is from creosote buildup. Creosote is the residue
from unburned products that is left inside of the chimney. This
is a natural by-product of wood burning. Essentially, no chimney
is immune to creosote.
are 3 different levels of creosote:
1. A light soot covering the inside walls of the chimney
2. A gel like substance
3. A hardened black surface that is plastered on the inside wall of a
(if you do have this 'glazed' creosote buildup we recommend you contact
a professional chimney sweep to remove all buildup. You may proceed with
regular cleanings when all creosote is removed)
best things to do are:
1. Have your chimney checked annually for the development of creosote
to maintain a CLEAN FIREPLACE.
2. Burn only seasoned wood
3. Make sure there is enough ventilation running through the fireplace
4. Maintain a high temperature while burning the wood
**IMPORTANTLY: MAINTAIN A CLEAN FIREPLACE**
hazards, other than creosote, to watch out for are animals residing within
the chimney as well as any cracks (from mortar breakage) along the chimney.
All of these hazards can be prevented with proper chimney inspections,
maintenance, and repairs.
THINGS TO DO IF YOU HAVE A CHIMNEY FIRE
1. Get everyone out of the house
2. Call the fire department
3. Do not close the damper of any woodstove or fireplace
4. Close all doors and vents/air inlets to fireplace/woodstove
5. If you see flames at the top of chimney, if possible hose down the
roof and not the chimney. Water on a flaming chimney will break it down.
6. Call a chimney sweep before using the chimney again.
*all information obtained from Rutland Fire Clay Company.