Many Americans will mark Independence Day with backyard barbeques and, probably, a few adult beverages.

Occasionally, on the 4th or otherwise, backyard partiers can get carried away and strange behavior ensues.


Beer cans don’t belong
in the chimney

“I actually once found many empty beer cans in a chimney,” says our Chimney Safety Institute Director of Education Ashley Eldridge. “I should say that this was the chimney of a college fraternity house, and the students decided to deposit their cans in the chimney.”

Eldridge admits that finding empty beer cans in a chimney is an exception to the rule, especially since partying on a pitched roof is difficult at best (that frat house had a flat roof that allowed for easy chimney access).

But his story is a useful cautionary tale as many of us partake in backyard fun and games over this holiday week and weekend.

Eldridge says chimneys can swallow up Frisbees, tennis balls and more each year. He says it’s important to be aware that missing toys or household items may have accidentally found their way into your chimney during the summer months.

“Branches, leaves and animals are even more commonly found in chimneys,” Eldridge says. “And, these are things that fall into the chimney without your knowledge, making an annual chimney inspection very important.”

Without an annual inspection by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep to see what could be blocking the airflow of your chimney, homeowners could face increased risk for chimney fires and carbon monoxide intrusion.

It’s why we think the decision to skip your annual chimney inspection is almost as silly as throwing empty beer cans down your chimney.

We wish you and yours a safe and relaxing Independence Day holiday!