“Is my fireplace safe to use” is sort of a relative question – if you have a fireplace and have never had it inspected or cleaned, you are playing with fire. Also understand that deterioration can occur to the interior of the chimney even when the chimney is not in use (or has never been used) – it’s Indiana folks, the inconsistent weather takes a toll on the masonry, and that’s – that. When it comes to burning wood, a natural byproduct called creosote is notorious for building up, lining the flue-system. Creosote is highly flammable. If a fire place burns hot enough and long enough it can reignite the creosote in the flue and start a chimney fire (for example, pouring gas on a fireplace fire to get it to burn, can cause the fire to super-heat, cracking flue-tiles). Chimney fires often burn higher up in the chimney’s flue system and if there are already cracks or holes from missing mortar in the flue system, the fire can spread to the structure of the house – deductive reasoning: fires that are not contained are not friendly fires.

The safety of your chimney is dependent upon a few major factors, so it’s a bit of a loaded question, but here’s the big five to ensuring the safety and functionality of your chimney:

  • Swept & Cleaned – industry professionals recommend the chimney be cleaned and inspected annually, often more, especially if wood has been burned in the fireplace.
  • The Firebox walls are free of cracks or missing mortar
  • The Smoke Chamber is smooth and free of creosote, cracks or holes
  • The Flue System is free of any cracks, missing mortar or other deterioration
  • The Draft is pulling smoke up of out of the firebox, all of the way through the top of the chimney, not allowing smoke into the living-room

Brick + Ember Outfitters is all about ensuring that your chimney and fireplace are in proper working order, so do your home and family a favor – grow some peace of mind and give us a call for your annual sweep and inspection. We will let you know if your fireplace isn’t ready to bring the heat.