Profitt Report: Dirty chimneys can cause fires, destroy homes

Photo credit: MGN

If you’ve been enjoying your cozy fire this week, you might want to make sure your chimney is clean: a dirty chimney is a fire hazard.

"There's also a brush head that's stuck inside there that could be preventing the proper flow up the chimney," said certified chimney sweeper Brian Sanders while inspecting a fireplace.

He works for American Professional Chimney and Masonry in Maryland.

Homeowner Scarlett Utsick likes to burn wood several times a week but said the smoke was coming back into the house. Having it inspected may have prevented a catastrophe.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America says professional chimney sweeps look for these 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?

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