Even when you rarely make a fire, creosote can build up over years or if you have never made a fire in your fireplace, creosote could be inside the chimney from the previous owner or tenant.
What Is a Chimney Fire?
The average chimney fire will make a loud roaring noise, often described as a train or jet going through the home.The roaring noise is caused by the sudden rush of air going into the chimney to feed the fire and a column of flames will often be seen coming out the top of the chimney. Pieces of creosote will often be seen flying out the top of the chimney and these may ignite the roof or other nearby combustibles. You may also hear popping or cracking noises inside the chimney indicating damage to bricks, mortar and flue liners. In some cases, a dense black smoke coming from the chimney is the only indication that a chimney fire is in progress.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends chimney inspections once a year
and maintenance and repairs done if necessary.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends sweeping if 1/8” or more soot is
present anywhere in the chimney system.