What is a chimney fire? How will I know, and what should I do?

A chimney fire is caused by a build up of soot and other materials in your chimney. Whether they are are slow burning and quiet or sudden and more dramatic, they can cause a lot of damage.

Most chimney fires burn slowly, but at very high temperatures. You may feel the chimney breast in upper rooms getting hot, notice unusual noises or see damage to the chimney stack, caps or even your roof. If you have a metal flue (for example from a wood burning stove) you may notice the metal warping and changing shape. The chimney will stop working effectively – these are all signs to call me straight away so I can fix the problem, assess and repair any damage done, and get your chimney working safely again.

The worst case scenario chimney fires can be explosive, with the chimney and surrounding structures cracking noisily. Flames and debris can often be seen coming out the top of the chimney. If you have a thatched roof or wooden construction materials near the chimney the resulting fire can be devastating.

Please, please don’t risk any of this happening to your home; a regular maintenance sweep from me will keep your chimney and fireplace working efficiently and safely.