TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - We are well into the cold weather season here in the Wabash Valley and many of us are turning to our fireplaces to keep warm. Routine maintenance of your chimney should take place every year.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, close to 90% of all residential building heating fires are caused by dirty chimneys.
News 10 spoke with Stanley Gress with Air and Aqua Clean in Terre Haute to see how common chimney fires are.
"I probably see 4 to 5 chimney house fires a year. People burning in their fire places and wood stoves and the house catches on fire so I'd say quite a few. It's basically maintenance. You want to keep a routine maintenance on your fireplace about once a year."
The routine maintenance will prevent the built up of soot in your chimney which can easily catch on fire. Gress also says that adding a chimney cap can also reduce debris from getting inside the chimney itself.
Always use safe fire practices when lightning inside your fireplace. Never use kerosene or gas. When you start to notice about a 1/8th of an inch of soot on the walls of your chimney, be sure to get it cleaned as soon as possible.