The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) cautions all fireplace, wood and coal stove owners regarding the use of chemical chimney cleaners as a sole source of chimney maintenance.

– CSIA expresses concern about products, like logs, powders and liquids that, when burned, allegedly remove a portion of the creosote from a masonry or metal chimney.

– CSIA believes that only a mechanical brushing with a complete-as-possible removal of creosote from a chimney is the only adequate method known for cleaning chimneys.

– CSIA is aware that some chemicals used under the supervision and direction of a professional chimney sweep can improve the ability to clean a chimney with mechanical brushing when persistent hard-to-remove creosote is found.

– CSIA considers that failure to remove fallen creosote from a chimney is a potential fire hazard and may also cause a chimney blockage.

– CSIA recommends that all chimneys have an annual inspection by a qualified professional to ensure a properly functioning chimney.

– CSIA recommends that only a qualified professional perform all necessary chimney repairs.

For more information about chimney safety, or to respond to this bulletin, call Greg Williamson, CSIA executive director at (317) 871-2703 or visit www.csia.org. CSIA is a non-profit, educational organization focused on the prevention of chimney and venting hazards.

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