Chimney Sweeps In Movies: How Do they Compare to Reality?

Fireplace Safety & Chimney Sweep in Newbury NH“Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim cher-ee…”

Can you picture Dick Van Dyke as he sings and dances his way across the rooftops of London exalting the life of the chimney sweep? Disney’s “Mary Poppins” made us want to put on our top hats and start the charmed life of a chimney sweep. Do these chimney sweeps in movies match real-life sweepers, though?

Chimney Sweeping in the Past

“A sweep is as lucky as lucky can be!”

Chimney sweeping began around the 16th century and a sweep’s life was very far from charmed. Children as young as three were often employed by a master sweep due to their ability to squeeze into small enclosed spaces. These children were from impoverished families and were often sold by their parents to the master sweep to act as apprentices. The local parish would pay the masters to take care of these children in any way they saw fit. These children were the property of the master until they came of age, if they survived that long.

“Now as the ladder of life ‘as been strung, you may think a sweeps on the bottommost rung. Though I spends me time in the ashes and smoke, in this ‘ole wide world there’s no ‘appier bloke!”

The ashes and smoke could cause lung damage, blindness, and cancer. A hot chimney causes severe burns. A child that tried to jam themselves into a chimney that was too tight might be lucky enough to be rescued with ropes. The unlucky ones would suffocate and die, which would require a section of the chimney to be removed to get to the body.

Chimney Smell and Chimney Sweep in Henniker NH

Improvements to Safety and Standards Today

“On the rooftops of London, Cool, what a sight!”

With the creation of child labor laws, child chimney sweeps are no more. However, the chimney sweep of today still faces many safety concerns that could put their lives in jeopardy.

Our sweeps at Black Moose sweep from the appliance up in most cases. Though there are times we will have to get on the roof to clean out a cap or dislodge a clog. Bad weather, as well as any type of roof, can put a sweep in jeopardy if they are not using the correct safety precautions. Harnesses, helmets, gloves, and appropriate footwear will save a sweep a lot of grief, but even the safest sweep can still have an accident.

The ash from a wood burning appliance can cause respiratory issues, skin, and eye irritations. Creosote contains carcinogens that can cause cancer. Hot appliances; animals in a flue; and old, damaged metal liners with rusted and jagged edges are only some of the issues our sweeps confront every day.

“When you’re with a sweep, you’re in glad company, Nowhere is there are more ‘appier crew than them wot sings, chim chim cher-ee, chim cher-oo, chim chiminey, chim chim, cher-ee chim cher-oo.”

We are proud of our sweeps here at Black Moose Chimney. Their job is not an easy one, but they do it to keep hundreds of families safe and warm. Contact us today for professional chimney sweeping services!

First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)