4 Your Home

What to Do Before Using Your Fireplace for the First Time This Season

NBC Universal, Inc.

The mercury is dropping, and for many people, that means lighting the first fire of the season.

However, our fireplaces aren't used year-round, so it’s a good idea to have them checked first.

“Well, it’s an open fire inside your living room, so I mean, you should take it seriously," says Ryan Hall of Winston's Chimney Service.

Issues such as debris, shifts in masonry, water and animal intrusion are all reasons to have your chimney checked out by a pro.

"You want a camera run inside if it's possible," Hall said. "You want somebody to get on the roof and check out the structure at the top. You want the masonry inspected, and normally for that it’s going to cost you between $150 and $300."

You can find a reputable and certified chimney company through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

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