While the hearth can be one of the most enjoyable places in the home, it can also be one of the most dangerous. Proper and regular chimney cleaning will reduce the chance of a hazard resulting from a dirty or unstable chimney.
Chimney fires may be one of the most difficult types of fires to extinguish, but fortunately they are also one of the easiest to prevent. As wood burns, it gives off creosote, the technical name for soot. This creosote then collects in the sides of the chimney. Over time, the accumulation of creosote can pose a serious fire hazard. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, you should have your chimney inspected every year. Many companies that offer inspection will also offer cleaning, which should also be done once a year, ideally before the chimney becomes active again in the winter. A proper cleaning will remove all creosote buildup.
Chimney contractors are usually very busy during the winter, so it is best to schedule your annual inspection and cleaning during the off-season.