The signs of a fire, especially one in your chimney, are not always obvious

The signs of a fire, especially one in your chimney, are not always obvious

Sometimes the signs of a chimney fire are dramatic and obvious. Other times, the signs are more subtle, perhaps nearly invisible and hidden. Northeastern Masonry & Chimney wants to share with you tips for ascertaining if you are experiencing (or have experienced) a chimney fire — and how you can be sure if in doubt.

On the obvious side, you might hear a loud cracking or a low rumbling sound, you might observe dense smoke, or you may smell a strong odor of burning. Needless to say, if flames or thick smoke are escaping from the top of your chimney, you most likely have a chimney fire —and either you or passersby can plainly see evidence of it.

But what about less obvious chimney fires?

Some chimney fires burn slowly and rather secretly; they are not blatant or visible. A professional inspection performed by Northeastern Masonry & Chimney technicians can discern if you are at risk of the early stages of a very preventable chimney fire.

Most homeowners with working fireplace or stove chimneys know that the main threat of a chimney fire comes from creosote, a natural by-product of combustion that is itself combustible. It is typically black or brown, crusty and flaky, and often tarry and sticky. Creosote buildup can occur as a result of a variety of causes, but the main thing is to detect it and clean it. Whether the cause is structural, mechanical, firewood choice, or chimney aging, call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney to find out for sure and correct the problem before it worsens into a true safety or health hazard.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, lists 9 signs of a chimney fire

• “Puffy” or “honey combed” creosote
• Warped metal of the damper, metal smoke chamber connector pipe or factory-built metal chimney
• Cracked or collapsed flue tiles, or tiles with large chunks missing
• Discolored and/or distorted rain cap
• Heat-damaged TV antenna attached to the chimney
• Creosote flakes and pieces found on the roof or ground
• Roofing material damaged from hot creosote
• Cracks in exterior masonry
• Evidence of smoke escaping through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners

Do you have any of these risk factors? Take the next step. Enlist one of Northeastern Masonry & Chimney’s certified chimney sweeps for a professional evaluation. Then we can work closely with you to recommend how to correct the underlying problem and bring your system into compliance with safety standards.

Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney now at 518-767-9315 to inspect your chimney and associated equipment. Or schedule an appointment online. Put our legacy of 35 years of successful experience to work for you. As the saying goes, don’t play with fire, or smoke, for that matter. Be safe. Make sure your chimney smoke is the right kind at the right time.