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Developed and maintained by the NFCC

False chimneys

Description

False chimneys are installed on roofs of properties which want the appearance of a chimney but there is no fireplace in the property. These are generally found on modern buildings (circa post-2000).

General considerations

A false chimney is built into the structural members of the roof with the normal roof covering placed around it. Generally a metal or plastic frame is used which is clad with a brick or render facing. False chimneys can be fixed on the ridge, mid-pitch or gable-end of a building.

The ability of a false chimney to stay in place is heavily reliant on the roof structure to which it has been fixed. If the roof structure is affected by fire this can weaken the roof joists and the roof may no longer support the weight of the false chimney.

Inherent hazards

  • Difficult to recognise
  • If the roof to which a false chimney is connected suffers damage this can result in the chimney falling through the roof joists to the floor below or off the roof
  • False chimneys are not suitable as an anchor for working at height as they may not be able to support any additional weight