Colder weather is here and it’s time to get your fireplace roaring again (check out 14 of our favorites here). Before you fill your home with the warmth and scent of a crackling fire, there are some precautions to take.

 

Check the Chimney

Have you called a chimney sweep recently? Experts recommend having your chimney cleaned once a year. A fireplace is only as good as its chimney, so inspect the exterior structure to make sure there are no issues there as well.

 

Open the Flue

Ever started a fire and had the room fill with smoke? If you’re new to fireplaces, you may not realize that this happens when the flue is closed. Many people close them in order to keep out small animals when their fireplaces aren’t in use. Simply look up and reach for a chain or lever to open it up before you light the fire.

 

Vacuum 

A quick vacuuming of the flue, smoke shelf and the surrounding hearth is the last step in preparation for fabulous fires in the coming months.

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