How to Clean a Chimney

Safety Concerns When Cleaning a Chimney

When cleaning a chimney, the first and most important safety concern is that you should not have any fires going when starting the cleaning process. Yes, that's an obvious one, but it's a concern nonetheless.

The next safety concern to be aware of when cleaning a chimney is the use of ladders and working from your roof. A fall from a roof or high up on a ladder can be dangerous, resulting in paralysis or even death. You can make this aspect safer by being very careful and aware of your surroundings. Or, you can eliminate this safety concern all together by choosing the rod method from the bottom up. As the only method that doesn't require someone getting up on the roof, it is the safest in that regard.

The final main safety concern relates to your vision and respiratory health. Be sure to wear goggles and a dust mask (or a full-face mask) when doing this kind of work. The soot, ash and other debris can be irritating to your eyes and respiratory system [source: Family Education].

If you are uncomfortable with any of these tasks or safety concerns, don't hesitate to call a professional.

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Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Chimney Sweep, The. "The Chimney Fire!" (Accessed 3/8/09)
  • Do It Yourself. "How to Clean Security Chimneys." (Accessed 3/8/09)
  • Family Education. "Keep Your Chimney Clean." (Accessed 3/8/09)
  • Household Cyclopedia of General Information, The. "How to Clean a Chimney." (Accessed 3/8/09)
  • NASD. "Cleaning Stovepipes and Chimneys." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Accessed 3/8/09)
  • Northline Express. "Chimney Brushes and Accessories." (Accessed 3/8/09)
  • Northline Express. "How to Clean a Chimney." (Accessed 3/8/09)
  • Repair Home. "How to Clean a Chimney." (Accessed 3/8/09)