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Chimney inspection, cleaning recommended before use as cold weather returns

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(HOI) -- With temperatures falling, some may be looking to put their indoor fireplaces to use.

Before using though, chimneys should be inspected and cleaned by a professional once a year.

One of them says he looks for several problem areas.

"Number one is obviously the cleanliness of the fireplace -- soot buildup. A lot of times we find unlined chimney flues or cracked chimney flues. That's extremely dangerous. That's what will allow the fire to exit the chimney and enter the home," said Nick Hanson, owner of Excel Fireplace & Chimney.

Inspectors also check out the chimney cap and ensure you don't have overhanging tree limbs, which can be a fire hazard.

It's recommended you the firebox is cleaned out once a week or when ash is more than one inch deep.

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Heart of Illinois ABC

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