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A clean chimney is a safe chimney.

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Mark Blog PhotoThere’s nothing like a roaring fire in the fireplace to cozy up the house on a chilly day or to add ambiance to a holiday gathering. Before you strike the match, answer this question. When was the last time you had your chimney inspected and cleaned?  It is recommended that you have your chimney, fireplace, and vents inspected, and cleaned as needed, once a year.

Annual chimney maintenance removes flammable creosote, the major cause of chimney fires. Creosote is a residue created when the smoke from a fire condenses and builds up in your flue over time. It is responsible for the most intense and destructive fires that occur in homes.

Even if you don’t use your fireplace much, an inspection can reveal other issues such as animal nests in the flue or structural deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use.

The good news is that chimney inspections are relatively inexpensive, costing between $50 and $100. A sweep may run a couple hundred dollars depending on your chimney size and condition but it’s worth the price.

Approximately 27,000 chimney fires will damage or destroy homes this year if historical averages persist. Make sure yours isn’t one of them. 

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant