How to Put Out a Chimney Fire: Expert Tips and Techniques (2023)

If your home has a fireplace, it’s important to know how to put out a chimney fire. A chimney fire is a dangerous situation that can quickly spread to the rest of your home.

While it may seem like a daunting task, putting out a chimney fire is relatively simple if you know what to do. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of putting out a chimney fire, as well as some tips and techniques from experts.

What is a Chimney Fire?

A chimney fire is a dangerous and potentially destructive event that can occur when hot embers from a fireplace or wood-burning stove ignite flammable materials inside the chimney structure. 

If not extinguished quickly, a chimney fire can spread to the rest of the home, causing significant damage and even putting lives at risk.

There are a few key things to know about chimney fires in order to best prevent and extinguish them:

  • Chimney fires typically occur when there is a build-up of soot and ash in the flue, which can ignite when exposed to high temperatures. Regular cleaning of the flue will help reduce the risk of a chimney fire.
  • If you do have a chimney fire, it’s important to act quickly. Use a small amount of water to dampen the ashes in the fireplace or wood-burning stove, then call the fire department immediately.
  • Never use gasoline, kerosene, or any other type of accelerant to try and extinguish a chimney fire – this will only make the situation worse.

With these tips in mind, you can help keep your home safe from the danger of a chimney fire. If you do experience one, remain calm and follow the steps above to ensure everyone’s safety and minimize damage to your home.

Signs You Have a Chimney Fire

how to put out a chimney fire
Via: Chimneysaversolutions

These are all signs that you may have a chimney fire: see flames or sparks coming from your chimney, excessive amounts of smoke coming from your fireplace, hear a loud cracking or popping noise…

If you suspect that you have a chimney fire, it is important to act quickly and put it out as soon as possible. 

Safety Tips for Extinguishing a Chimney Fire

If you have a roaring fire in your fireplace and you want to extinguish it, you need to follow some safety tips. Here are some tips for extinguishing a chimney fire:

  • Never use water to extinguish a chimney fire. Water will only make the fire worse.
  • Use a fire extinguisher that is specifically designed for putting out a chimney fire. Make sure the extinguisher is rated for A, B, or C fires.
  • If you do not have access to a fire extinguisher, then you can use baking soda or a mixture of equal parts baking soda and sand to put out the fire.
  • If the chimney fire continues, you should evacuate your home immediately and call 911. Do not reenter until it has been determined that it is safe to do so.

Common Methods of Putting Out a Chimney Fire

There are a few common methods of putting out a chimney fire. 

how to put out a chimney fire

Fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers can be effective if used properly. 

The first step is to identify the type of extinguisher you have. 

If you have a dry chemical extinguisher, you should aim at the base of the fire and discharge the contents until the blaze is extinguished. 

Aim it at the top of the fire and discharge until the fire is out if you have a carbon dioxide extinguisher.

If you have a foam extinguisher, aim it at the base of the fire and discharge until the foam covers the entire area of the blaze.

Pour water on the fire

Pouring water on a chimney fire will usually cause more harm than good. 

The water will not put out the fire, but it will cause hot embers and flames to spread out onto your roof or other combustible materials nearby, potentially causing an even bigger fire.

A wet blanket or towel

Yet another is to smother the fire with a wet blanket or towel.

Smothering a chimney fire with a wet blanket or towel is also not recommended, as this can also cause hot embers and flames to spread.

Checking for Damages and Clean Up After the Fire is Out

It is important to inspect your chimney for any damage after a fire. Look for cracks or gaps in the structure, and check for any discoloration which could indicate heat damage. If you suspect any damage, it is best to call a professional to come and take a look.

Once you are sure that the chimney is safe, it’s time to start cleaning up. Begin by removing soot and debris from the fireplace using tools like a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Then, use a stiff brush to scrub the inside of the chimney before giving it a good sweeping.

If you have never had to deal with a chimney fire before, the process can seem daunting. But following these simple tips and techniques will help ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Preventing Chimney Fires in the Future

Chimney fires are one of the most dangerous and destructive types of house fires. They can quickly spread to other parts of the home, and often result in extensive damage. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to help prevent them from happening in the first place. 

Have chimney inspected and cleaned regularly

One of the best ways to prevent chimney fires is to have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly by a professional. This will remove any built-up soot and debris that could potentially catch fire. It’s also important to make sure that your wood-burning stove or fireplace is properly vented so that dangerous fumes don’t build up inside. 

Use dry, seasoned wood

Another way to help reduce the risk of chimney fires is to use dry, seasoned wood when burning. Wet or green wood can create a lot of smoke and cause creosote to build up more quickly. 

If you do happen to have a fire in your chimney, be sure to call the fire department right away and follow their instructions. Trying to put it out yourself could make things worse and put you in danger. 

By following these simple tips, you can help keep your home safe from the dangers of chimney fires.


Can you let a chimney fire burn out?

The answer is: maybe. It depends on the severity of the fire and how easily it can spread to other parts of your home. 

If the fire is small and contained to the chimney, you may be able to let it burn out on its own. But keep in mind that even smoldering embers can reignite, so it’s important to have your chimney inspected by a professional before using it again. 

If the fire is large or spreading beyond the fireplace, you need to take immediate action to extinguish it. Never try to put out a chimney fire with water – this will only make things worse! The best way to quench a blaze is by smothering it with ashes or sand. If you don’t have either of those on hand, call the fire department for help.

Why does salt put out a chimney fire?

When a fire burns in a fireplace, the draft pulls air up the chimney and out of the house. This causes a negative pressure in the room where the fireplace is located. Cold air from outside rushes in to equalize the pressure, and this air can enter through any opening in the home. Cracks in the mortar or gaps around frames can cause this problem.

One way to stop cold air from coming into the house is to close the damper. However, if there is a fire burning in the fireplace, this will cause smoke to back up into the house. Another way to prevent cold air from coming into the house is to put salt on the fire. The salt will absorb moisture from the air and help to create a barrier between the cold air and the fire.

What are the tips for a chimney fire?

Chimney fires are dangerous and can cause extensive damage to your home. However, there are some steps you can take to help prevent them and put them out if they do occur.

Here are some tips for preventing and extinguishing a chimney fire:

  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly by a professional. This will help remove any build-up of debris that could potentially catch fire.
  • If you do have a fire in your chimney, try to smother it with a damp towel or blanket. This will help to deprive the fire of oxygen and hopefully extinguish it.
  • Call the fire department immediately if the fire does not appear to be extinguished and pose a threat to your home. Do not try to fight the fire yourself as it could be very dangerous.

Can you pour water on a fireplace?

A chimney fire is a dangerous situation that requires immediate attention. If you have a fireplace, it’s important to know how to safely put out a chimney fire.

Water can be used to extinguish a small chimney fire, but you should never pour water down a smokestack. Doing so could cause the fire to spread or could create hazardous conditions. Instead, use a Class A or B dry chemical fire extinguisher on a small fire. For a more serious fire, call the fire department.

Is it OK to leave the fireplace burning overnight?

Leaving the fireplace unattended overnight is never a good idea. If you must do so, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk: 

  • Use only seasoned firewood in your fireplace. Seasoned wood is dry and burns more efficiently than green wood, producing less smoke.
  • Build small, hot fires. Bigger flames produce more sparks and embers that can escape the fire pit and land on the roof or in the chimney, starting a fire.
  • Don’t overload the fireplace. A big pile of logs will collapse inward as it burns, smothering the flames and creating dangerous conditions.
  • Keep the flue open. A closed flue traps smoke and heat in the chimney, which could lead to a chimney fire.
  • Extinguish the fire before going to bed. Stirring up the ashes before you go to bed will help ensure that any remaining embers are extinguished. 

If you follow these guidelines, leaving your fireplace burning overnight should be safe. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and put out the fire before you go to sleep.


Chimney fires are a serious risk to the safety of your home, so understanding how to put out one is very important. This ultimate guide has provided you with all the information and best techniques that will help you safely and quickly put out a chimney fire if it ever occurs in your home. With proper maintenance and following these steps carefully, you can rest assured that your family stays safe from harm due to a chimney fire.