Experts Share Fireplace Safety Tips

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Fire officials say there are some steps homeowners should take before lighting their fireplaces for the first time.

"With it being this cold in November, usually we have a lot fires due to fireplaces, people using their fireplaces. They should be wary of starting up that fireplace, making sure it's working properly," said Bryan Fire Marshal Marc McFeron.

He says the best way to stay safe is to call in a professional.

Dusty Strange is the owner of Fireplaces Etc. in Bryan.

"There's a lot of stuff you may not know as far as animals getting in there, trees at the top of your chimney getting to close because they've grown over the summer," said Strange.

That's why experts say people should have their fireplaces cleaned and inspected before using them every year.

"If the chimney itself is dirty, then the heat alone will cause it to combust and that's when you have a chimney fire. If you have any cracked clay tiles in the attic, that can get transferred into your wood in a combustible area - that's where your whole house could possibly burn down, so we don't want that," said Strange.

Fire officials say to make sure smoke is funneling out of your house properly.

You may also have a problem if you smell gas in the house.