It’s hard to beat a roaring fire in winter but ensuring that your fire delivers the performance it should and is safe as possible means you need to be vigilant in keeping your chimney clean and regularly inspected for any possible repairs. Though the idea of needing a fire to keep warm may be the last thing on most people’s mind in the middle of summer, having a regular inspection is great for piece of mind, insurance, and getting the most out of your fire. It pays to think ahead.

Ciaran Fitzpatrick

Ciaran Fitzpatrick

Complete Chimney Care is one of the many chimney cleaning companies throughout the country and they do a variety of jobs to make sure that those with fires are getting the best of out of them and that they meet the safety standards required.

Run by partners Ciaran Fitzpatrick and Kimberly Muncaster, Complete Chimney Care has been in business since 2012 and as the name suggests, they undertake every sort of work involved with chimneys and fires.

Ciaran says that the recent earthquakes that did so much damage in Kaikoura and Wellington are a reminder to look out for any cracks in chimney work that signals the need for professional attention. Based in Auckland, Ciaran says the November earthquake even did enough damage to chimneys in the Auckland region, requiring demolition.

Christchurch requires special consideration since the devastating quakes that destroyed so much of the city – “In Christchurch you’re not allowed a chimney unless it’s a steel flue encased in a wooden structure chimney – you can’t build one in brick or stone,” he says.

Even though it’s the middle of summer, Ciaran and Kimberley are kept busy with demolitions and repairs. “We demolish a lot of old brick chimneys – people want to get rid of them in case of earthquakes, or to make more room.”

Ciaran Fitzpatrick and Kimberley Muncaster

Ciaran Fitzpatrick and Kimberley Muncaster


While their regular cleaning routine doesn’t pick up till next month, Ciaran points out that most insurance companies require that homes with chimneys are inspected and cleaned by a professional – “if there’s a problem with it, we also provide a quote for repair”, Ciaran says. “Most chimneys need to be inspected at least every year, and some people do it every six months. We have pizza parlours and coffee roasters, where we inspect and clean every three months as they’re going 24/7.”

Making sure that the fire itself is working properly also ensures that optimum heat is delivered. “We inspect wood fires – we inspect the air wash bar and the baffle plate – to make sure that the heat is delivered to the room rather than going up the chimney.”

Ciaran also points out that keeping your chimney clean is always a good idea – even at Christmas, when a particular gentleman needs to get down it to deliver his goods.

To find a chimney cleaning professional in your area go to