There’s a major fire hazard you probably aren’t thinking about—and no it’s not the candle you forgot to blow out before you left for the grocery store. It’s your chimney. Each year, around 9,000 homes have fires that begin in the chimney.

If you don’t have a fireplace or wood stove, don’t think you are exempt. Furnaces also have chimneys that need regular checkups. Oil furnace can cause soot buildups and gas furnaces can create smoke and condensation. It’s important to seasonally keep up on small repairs and do a thorough cleaning when buying a new house.

If you’re unsure of where to start, it’s probably best to hire a chimney company. They will check the following things to ensure a working chimney:

  1. Ensure lining of the flue is in good shape. The major cause is creosote buildup inside the chimney itself. This is typically done with a remote camera. Simply looking up the chimney isn’t good enough to determine if there’s a problem.
  2. Check for cracks or loose bricks—cracks can let carbon monoxide leak into the house.
  3. For a furnace, check the return vent.
  4. Check for debris that may have accumulated where the furnace enters the chimney.

Winter To-Do’s for a Year-Round Tidy Home

Winter is not for yard work, it’s for hibernation, buttery holiday treats, and long Netflix binges. But keep these to-do’s in mind when it comes to home maintenance in the winter season and it will pay-off all year long.


  1. Bring out the snow blower and make sure it’s in good working order, with gas and oil
  2. Stock up on supplies before the winter storms. Salt, shovels, and de-icers sell out quick during an impeding storm
  3. Check for ice dams—ice that accumulates along the eaves of your roof and can cause damage to shingles, gutters and siding. Removing them with a roof rake will keep you from potentially harming your roof


  1. Check and change filters in your heating systems
  2. Bring in firewood as needed, but store it outside long-term to reduce the risk of bugs
  3. Check your boiler levels
  4. If you have a generator, make sure it’s in good running order and has fuel
  5. Prepare in advance. Before the storms hit is the time to make sure you have supplies for a big storm. Water, supplies, food, and first aid should all be arranged before the big rush