Chimney Cleaning May Save Your Life

With the rising costs of natural gas and electricity, many people will stay warm by stocking up on wood and using their fireplaces. Chimney fires are all too common during this time of year, but  ells there is one way to lessen the odds...

This fireplace and chimney is getting a thorough cleaning.

Home owner Pete Casu says,  "We just purchased this home this summer and with it being a home we were not familiar with, we weren't sure if the previous owners... How they kept their fire place."

The cleaning process only takes about 30 minutes and he says yearly maintenance is important for the safety of his family. So just how prevalent are chimney fires?

Sgt. Buddy Fulton with the Montgomery Fire Department says they are very common during this time of year..  He says,  "You're always going to have a few more fires than you would in the summer. And chimney fires are a big part of it."

Fulton says most chimney fires are caused by a lack of maintenance and build up.  So how often should a chimney be cleaned?

Bret Pinkston is the owner of Top Hat Chimney Service.  Pinkston says,  "If you burn at least a cord a season, then it should be cleaned every year."

And he says even if you don't use it that much at least have it checked for cracks where fire can spread.

Pinkston says,  "We can also do a chim-scan, which is a camera that you run up the flue and do a 360 inside the flue, just to check all the joints.

One simple precaution can literally save a life.

How do you go about choosing a company? First make sure they are certified, licenced and bonded... And have a lot of experience. Then ask around ... A business with a good reputation will have repeat customers.

Reporter:  Ashley Anderson