Preventing Chimney Fires

Preventing Chimney Fires - Banner

Preventing Chimney Fires

If not cared for properly, a wood burning fireplace can damage your property, cause bodily harm and result in significant costs to your business. A well-functioning chimney and vent creates a draft of proper combustion, and provides a path for removal of combustion by-products such as creosote and carbon monoxide (CO).

Contact a chimney sweep immediately if you notice:

  • Loud roar inside the chimney
  • Visible cracks in the chimney
  • Creosote flake on the ground
  • Smoke escaping into the attic

Evacuate all individuals (and animals) if a fire erupts in the chimney or symptoms of CO poisoning are experienced.

Call the fire department once everyone is out of the building.


Additional safety tips:

  • Have the chimney inspected annually by a certified chimney sweep. Take cleaning, maintenance and repair recommendations seriously.
  • Have chimney caps and spark arrestors installed on the chimney.
  • Install smoke and CO detectors in your building and test them regularly. Have a fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Keep area around the fireplace clear of combustible material.
  • Burn only seasoned firewood.
  • Extinguish all ashes and dispose of them in a proper non-combustible container. 

Creosote is a dark- tarry residue that is highly combustible, and CO is produced through incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels.

This material is informational only. It is not intended to be, and is not in fact, a statement, in whole or in part, of GNY’s underwriting guidelines. Nothing said here amends or affects the interpretation, application, or both, of the coverage provisions in any GNY insurance policy; nor do the statements made here constitute a representation that insurance coverage exists for any loss under any GNY policy. Coverage depends on facts and circumstances of each individual claim or loss, the applicable laws, and the policy provisions in the GNY insurance policy.