All smoking is hazardous to your health. From cigarettes to chimneys, smoke is not meant to be part of the air you breathe. Aside from the carcinogens contained in cigarettes, they are all too often mishandled and start unintended fires. Thrown out car windows and off balconies, they can start both home and wild fires that wind can lift out of control.
Left burning in ashtrays, cigarettes pose dangers whether attended or not, with proven problems in both second-hand smoke and unattended fire. Smokers typically don’t think about their cigarettes as “open fires”, but that is what they are when they hit paper, leaves, and other flammables. Careless behavior can combine with unseen things and changing wind to wreak havoc on an apartment, neighborhood or forest.
Smoky Fireplaces Are Hazardous Too
A smoking chimney is no less dangerous and needs to be taken just as seriously. Unless you are burning green or damp wood, which you should never do, there should not be smoke just hanging in the fireplace. It should go up the chimney and out of the house. If it is not, something is wrong.
If the damper is open, there could be a foreign obstruction in the chimney, like a squirrel or its nest. If “it’s always been like that”, the flue could be the wrong size for the fireplace, or the chimney could be the wrong height. Whatever is going on, it is not a good thing that it has been ignored until now and the sooner it is inspected, the better.
Sweeps See Beyond Fireplaces
Both health and safety issues are at stake whether it is people or chimneys that are smoking, and – surprisingly – chimney sweeps can help with both. They spot unnoticed flammables waiting for tossed cigarettes that often miss their mark and are a second set of eyes on home fire safety. When it comes to a smoky fireplace, a CSIA certified sweep needs to take a thorough look at the chimney, regardless of what accounts for it.