Chimney fires are a serious threat to homeowners, and they shouldn’t be taken lightly. In addition to the millions of dollars in property damage chimney fires cause every year, they are also incredibly dangerous. With that in mind, all homeowners who have and regularly use their fireplace should understand some basic chimney-fire safety tips. Here are the first five things you should do in the case of a chimney fire:

#1 Ensure Safety

It’s most important to protect your family and yourself in the event of a fire. So rather than trying to put out the fire, alert everyone in the home and exit in an orderly fashion. Chimney fires may stay contained within a chimney –– or they may spread to the rest of the house. Regardless, your first action should be to get out of the house. From there, call the fire department. If possible, it may be a wise idea to close the damper on the fireplace to “smother” the chimney fire. (No oxygen, no fire.) However, don’t put yourself in danger by attempting to close a damper or put the fire out yourself. Safety is the first priority!

#2 Hose Down Your Roof

Chimney fires are most dangerous when they spread to your roof, so if you notice the tell-tale signs of a chimney fire like dense, black smoke or a loud, train-like sound emanating from your fireplace, go outside and spray water on the areas around your chimney. And remember, once you’re outside, stay there until help arrives. 

#3 Inspect the Damage

Only begin to inspect your chimney after the fire has completely gone out. At that point, look for damage in the interior and on the exterior of your chimney. Some chimney fires may also cause damage on the roof. Furthermore, you should keep an eye out for creosote build-ups within your chimney. More often than not, this sticky, flammable substance is the cause of a chimney fire.  

#4 Call a Professional

All chimney fires happen for a reason –– so don’t use your chimney after a fire! Instead, call a professional first to inspect your home and your chimney. They’ll be able to 1) diagnose the problem that started the fire and 2) clean/repair it. It’s a wise idea to schedule regular chimney inspections annually, but it’s absolutely imperative to talk to a professional in the wake of a fire. Otherwise, you could put you, your family, and your home at risk again!

#5 Practice Fireplace Safety in the Future

Thousands of chimney fires happen every year, and, in some instances, homeowners may not even be aware that they’ve had a fire. Certain fires are slow-burning and self-contained, but they can still cause a great deal of damage to your home. That’s why it’s important to always follow basic fireplace safety procedures. Properly cleaning your fireplace and scheduling regular inspections will help you avoid dangerous fires. For a more in-depth look at how you can prevent chimney fires, check out our blog here.

To Wrap Up

Chimney fires are an unpleasant, but all-too-common occurrence. Fortunately, when you partner with a company like Brickworks, you can rest easy knowing you’ll receive the best possible masonry service. We handle a wide variety of brick and stone projects, and we’ll help you return your chimney to its former condition after a fire. Call us today at (586) 330-4920 to get started!