You may have seen in the news recently where a man in Arizona got stuck in a chimney after a prank nearly turned tragic in early July.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America, a Plainfield, Indiana-based nonprofit with a dual mission of providing industry education/certification along with homeowner resources, has written about the issue of people stuck in chimneys before. We use the news interest in chimney intrusion to highlight the general ignorance or misunderstanding the public has about the chimney.
Then we describe how it (the flue) works, what it looks like inside, its condition, and why the flue is incapable of allowing humans to squeeze through. Birds and raccoons, even snakes and squirrels, maybe. But not people.
Scott Hollifield, an editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, North Carolina, wrote about the “issue” in a tongue-in-cheek manner in the July 10 edition of his newspaper. [Posted here]. He writes, ” ‘Remember the chimney safety campaign slogan: “If you’re tempted, give it pause; ’cause your dumb a– ain’t Santa Claus’ …
He also wrote, ‘Up to 12,000 people each year could be stuck in chimneys if that many were stupid enough to try it. Don’t be a statistic’.”
Chimney incidents are no laughing matter. They’ve been deadly, for some unfortunate people who were trapped and not discovered. We hope, even written sarcastically, that the publicity helps.
If you want to carry the conversation forward, visit our CSIA website “Frequently asked questions” page. Or, contact your local CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, by zip code. Find out what annual maintenance is so important!