If there is any part of a chimney that has collapsed, this can be a serious issue for homeowners and it can actually be dangerous. There is always an issue with chimneys that are used when there is a collapse where fires have started. But there is a much more serious danger in carbon monoxide poisoning, which is a silent killer.
When a chimney has collapsed, the updraft that helps pull the smoke and carbon monoxide through the chimney is compromised. This means that there is no way for it to escape the fireplace even if there is no visible smoke or odor. Enough of the smoke may escape so the user does not even know that there is an issue.
If a person inhales enough carbon monoxide, their body becomes poisoned and they can suffer neurological damage, hypoxic injury, and even death. Having said this, it is possible for the body to build up a tolerance if exposed to low amounts over time. This would have to start at birth, however, and not many people face that type of exposure.
Carbon monoxide, as stated previously, contains no odor, it is also colorless and tasteless, so you may not even know it is present. This gas is very hard for the average person to detect because of these reasons so many do not know that there is a problem. This is why it is vital for everyone who uses a chimney to ensure that there are no collapsed areas in the chimney.
The bottom line is this, if you have a fireplace and chimney, you need it to be inspected to make sure there are no collapsed areas. If there are any issues, then do not burn any firewood or gas logs until the collapsed area has been repaired. This is the only way that the people living in the home can be safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.