CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With the start of winter approaching in North Carolina, you may want to turn on your fireplace.

What You Need To Know

  • Experts recommend getting fireplaces inspected at least once a year

  • Dirty chimneys can cause a fire, which can escalate into a house fire if not contained

  • Using dry wood for your chimney can also help keep it in good shape

Experts recommend having your fireplace inspected before you turn it on for the first time this season.

A chimney sweep owner, Joseph Clary, says dirty chimneys can cause a chimney fire and if it’s not contained, it can escalate to a house fire.

“I’ve never cleaned a chimney and have a chimney fire. Clean chimneys do not have chimney fires,” Clary says.

Clary inspected and cleaned the fireplace at Charles Christenbery’s home. Christenbery wanted to ensure it was working properly before using it more often during the winter months.

“I haven’t done it in the past year or two, so that’s why I found it more urgent to have something done this year,” Christenbery says.

During his visit, Clary spotted voids in the fluid liner and a water issue inside the chimney.

“If you see that blackness at the top up there. That is not from fireplace. That is water being absorbed from chimney and producing mildew,” Clary says.

After Clary’s inspection, Christenbery learned his chimney needed repairs before use.

"A small amount now can save a lot later,” Christenbery says.

Christenberry had the problems fixed to keep his family safe and continue enjoying his fireplace.

“Every other week or so when the weather gets down the 40s or 30. I like to do fires in the mornings, on the weekends. Makes the girlfriend happy, makes me happy,” Christenberry says.

Clary says the frequency of chimney cleaning depends on how often you use it.

He recommends to use dry wood to keep your chimney in good shape.