Closing the fireplace doors or covering an open fireplace with a cloth prevents soot from accumulating in the home when cleaning the chimney. Homeowners who opt to clean their chimneys should purchase chimney brushes that fit snugly in the chimney to dislodge the soot or dirt on the sides of the flue.
Hire a certified sweep in a given locality through the Chimney Safety Institute of America to ensure high-quality workmanship. A knowledgeable chimney sweep understands local building codes and advises the homeowner about issues such as venting problems or accumulation of creosote in the flue, which could cause fire.
Lower the weighted chimney brush into the chimney from the top to access the entire flue that requires cleaning. Raising and lowering the chimney brush in the flue several times ensures all the dirt dislodges from the sidewalls of the chimney.
Cap the chimney once the cleaning is complete to keep out rain, birds, pests and debris. To minimize the risk of a home-heating fire, inspect the chimney structure and liners for signs of cracks or loose bricks, and make repairs before using the fireplace after the cleanup. Wear a mask or goggles to keep soot and debris from getting into contact with the eyes, and adhere to local laws while disposing of the soot or creosote.