Start by sealing off the fireplace to prevent soot and debris from blowing into your house. Take with you to the roof a flashlight, protective facemask (the good-quality respirator type), goggles, and gloves. You will also need a chimney brush and a flexible rod long enough to reach the height of your chimney.
With the flue open, attach the brush to the rod and sweep all sides of the chimney. Use the flashlight to periodically inspect the chimney and make sure you are doing the job adequately. When finished, use a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner (something like a Shop Vac) to clean out the fireplace from the inside of your home.
Chimneys need cleaning only once or twice a year depending on how often it is used. If it is just too much for you to handle, give us a call, we’ll schedule a professional chimney-sweep to come to your home to do the job for you. A clean chimney ultimately means a safe chimney.