National Fire Prevention Week is upon us! Every year from October 6th-12th, public education focused on fire prevention and safety is provided by dedicated educators across the country. Fire Prevention Week has been a nationally recognized event since 1925. Here at Northline Express, fire safety is a priority. We carry a host of products that are designed to prevent chimney fires and increase safety in your home. Learn some tips for preventing fires by appropriately managing creosote buildup.

What is Creosote?

Creosote is simply a buildup of carbon residue from burning wood. It is composed of a mix of unburned wood and tar that accumulate on the inside of the chimney flue. As gas rises in the chimney flue, it is exposed to cooler and cooler temperatures. This causes the gas to condense and harden on the interior of the chimney flue - producing creosote. Creosote can pose a serious fire risk if allowed to accumulate in large quantities. Creosote buildup occurs in three stages.

Stage 1 creosote, or soot, occurs when there is high flue temperature and open space for the combustion process to occur. It looks like fine black dust, and is easily removed with a chimney brush. First degree creosote poses the lowest risk for fire.

Stage 2 creosote is black, hard, and crunchy, and has a flaky or curly appearance. It is more difficult to remove than first degree creosote, and poses a higher fire risk.

Stage 3 creosote is a black and tarry, shiny “glaze” on the chimney flue interior. It is very dense, sticky, and laboring to remove. This tarry glaze is highly flammable.

Managing Creosote Buildup

Staying on top of creosote buildup in your chimney or wood stove can prevent fires. There are several products designed to effectively remove creosote buildup and make cleaning your chimney or wood stove easier. Please be aware that though these products make cleaning simpler, they may not replace professional chimney cleaning.

Please visit the product pages for brief informative videos on how to properly use these products.

1. Chimney Brushes & Rods

Chimney brushes can be used to clean fireboxes, damper areas and smoke chambers. Some brushes, like our 27'' Long Noodle Brush, offer flexibility to bend into whatever shape you need to provide a deep clean. Chamber-Ease allows you to scrape off solidified creosote while remaining outside the firebox. But that's not all we have to offer! See our complete collection of chimney brushes here.

Our collection of durable, high quality chimney brush rods and adapters can be found here.

27'' Long Noodle Brush (left); Chamber-Ease (right)

2. Anti-Creo-Soot Creosote Remover

Anti-Creo-Soot Creosote Remover is composed of a non-flammable manganese-based liquid catalyst. Spray this product daily on firewood, inside the fire chamber, flue outlet and damper area. As the product is dispersed throughout the chimney flue, it helps to break down hard and tarry creosote into ash, which can then be easily removed with a chimney brush. Available in both quart and gallon sizes.

Gallon of Anti-Creo-Soot creosote remover

3. SootEater Rotary Pellet Stove Cleaning System

Clean your pellet stove and increase efficiency at the same time with SootEater Rotary Pellet Stove Cleaning System! The brush head clears away ash and soot buildup, and the long handled brush and angled bristles make cleaning corners and edges easier than ever before. The scraper end removes harder, more challenging creosote buildup. Please note, additional rods are needed if your pellet stove chimney is longer than 9 feet in length.

SootEaterRotary Pellet Stove Cleaning System

4. SootEater Rotary Chimney Cleaning System

This SootEater Rotary Chimney Cleaning System is designed to clean and maximize efficiency of your wood or coal stove and fireplace. This complete chimney cleaning kit allows you to clean multiple flue sizes and shapes up to 18 feet long. Additional 3 foot rods are sold separately.

SootEater Rotary Chimney Cleaning System

5. Rutland Toss-In Creosote Remover

Improve your chimney cleaning experience with hardly any effort! Rutland Toss-In Creosote Remover is composed of a solid granular material that is activated by heat. Simply toss the pre-measured tube into a brisk fire - that’s it! This product will then break down hard, stubborn creosote in the chimney flue and reduce it to a powder, making for easy clean up! Use two tubes per week for the first month, then one tube per week for the rest of the heating season.

Rutland Toss-In Creosote Remover, sold individually or in bulk

6. Chimfex Fire Suppressant

Be prepared to extinguish a chimney fire before an emergency presents itself! An independent study revealed Chimfex Fire Suppressant extinguished a chimney fire in just 22 seconds, making this a quick and effective alternative to water for combatting fires. Simply strike the ignitor on the scratch surface to light the the product, and toss into the fire. The fumes and smoke emitted from Chimfex Fire Suppressant will deplete oxygen in the chimney flue, thereby extinguishing the fire. We recommend keeping 2 or 3 on hand for emergency use.

Chimfex Fire Suppressant

It’s probably safe to say that no one likes chores, but cleaning your chimney and wood stove is an important task! Recognize National Fire Prevention Week this year by checking out your chimney or wood stove for creosote buildup. Remember the importance of keeping them clean and creosote-free to increase the safety of your home!

Additional information on creosote, including reference photos and removal products, can be found on our Resources & Help page here.

For more information on National Fire Prevention Week, including fire safety tips and resources, please visit the NFPA here.

Have questions or concerns? Please contact us toll free at 1-877-734-2458.