HOUSTON — With an arctic blast approaching the Houston area and dropping temperatures to below-freezing, we know many are going to be doing their best to stay warm.
If you’re planning to use a fireplace that's been sitting all year, experts are stressing you take the proper safety precautions.
Things get busy at Brushers Chimneys when the temperatures drop.
"A lot of our customers, a lot of people are calling in. They remember what happened 2 years ago when we had the freeze,” said Mariam Rozenbaum.
Rozenbaum said one of the most important things to do before lighting your fireplace is to make sure your damper or flue is open and cleared.
“Think about it like black charcoal that can catch on fire and then your house can light on fire. You want to make sure your flue is free of nests, leaves, creosote,” she said.
Additional steps for chimney Safety:
- Get a yearly chimney inspection
- Make sure the top of the chimney is free and clear
- Have a chimney cap installed on all of the flues
- Clear out old ashes
- Don’t use lighter fluid or charcoal grill lighter
The Houston Fire Department is also warning of the dangers of carbon monoxide. The agency stresses the importance of putting a fire out before going to bed and having the proper safety detectors.
"If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector or smoke detector reach out to the fire department. We can assist you in acquiring one of those,” said Houston Fire Chief, Samuel Pena.
Rozenbaum said if see or smell smoke coming into your home, it's time to call a professional.
"The best way is always to be safe so we don’t have any chimney fires,” she said.