Why Anyone (Besides Santa) Would Have Trouble Entering a House Through the Chimney

December 24, 2019

Maybe you’ve read our articles about people getting stuck in chimneys this season, or maybe you’re just wondering how the man in the big red suit does it. Or, maybe you’re nervous about a would-be burglar entering your home via chimney. Not to worry: in today’s post, our Cary chimney contractor explains why it’s actually quite difficult—nigh impossible—to come down a chimney without the help of Christmas magic. 

Walking on a Roof Isn’t Easy as it Sounds  

The first step in entering a chimney is, of course, getting up on the roof. When a licensed chimney technician climbs up on a roof to inspect a chimney, he or she is usually wearing safety equipment to prevent accidental falls, as well as gripping boots to create traction. A would-be thief would also need, of course, a ladder—all of which will take some time to set up and take up, loudly. 

A Chimney Flue Isn’t a Straight Shot Down  

When the Santa myth started becoming popularized, chimneys likely were a straight shot down, from the roof to the floor. But today’s chimney passages aren’t just straight up-and-down tunnels. The smoke shelf (which is located above the fireplace) juts outward, and the chimney damper also creates a physical barrier between the fireplace and the rest of the chimney. That’s the entire purpose of a chimney damper, in fact—shutting off the passageway to prevent drafts, birds, squirrels, and debris from entering your home.

Chimneys are Extremely Narrow

Chimneys weren’t just straight back in the olden days; they were also very narrow, which is why chimney sweeping was a job usually performed by young children. Even today’s chimney flues are perhaps less than two feet wide. Your chimney technician won’t physically enter your chimney during an inspection or cleaning; instead we insert our cleaning tools and/or cameras to search for potential damage. So, unless your trespasser is a squirrel or a bird, it’s unlikely he or she would be able to enter.

Get Your Chimney Santa-Ready with Our Cary Chimney Inspections

We hope that this blog has calmed some of your fears about strangers entering your home through the chimney. We imagine that St. Nick uses Christmas magic to shrink himself down to a more chimney-appropriate size. or perhaps, these days, he just teleports himself directly in the house, no chimney involved. Either way, a non-magical human could never enter your house through the flue, and anyone who attempted to do so would get stuck.

However, with all this said, it is of course important to present Santa with a tidy, clean flue that doesn’t stink of creosote and tar. He does so much for us for free, so the least we can do is provide this small courtesy. If it’s been more than a year since your chimney was professionally inspected and cleaned, schedule an appointment with our Cary chimney sweep today.