Winter brings images of getting cozy in front of a crackling fire. Whether your image also includes a steaming cup of cocoa or a glass of crisp Chardonnay, it’s definitely something to look forward to.
A house fire most likely doesn’t factor into your dreams of hearthside dreams. But the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) lists fireplaces as one of the top 10 causes of house fires.
Make fireplace maintenance a priority before touching a match to even one piece of kindling.
You may only need to have the chimney swept. Or, you may need additional maintenance work before your first fire of the season.
While it’s always best to hire a pro to inspect and clean the chimney (we’ll get into the how-tos of that in a minute), many homeowners prefer to perform their own inspections. If you are among them, keep the following in mind:
We can’t recommend that you drag out the ladder to climb on the roof to inspect the rest of the chimney. It’s always best to hire a professional rather than risking bodily injury.
Most experts recommend a professional clean of your chimneys about once a year (or every 80 fires). The Chimney Safety Institute of America offers advice on how to hire a chimney sweep. Also, be sure to check reviews on Yelp.com and similar review sites.
Now all you need to do is stock up on firewood.
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