GILMER, TX (KLTV) - East Texans are getting ready to 'fire up' their cozy fireplaces. But, before you throw that match on the log, there are a few safety tips you need to know to keep your family safe.
Will Wood and his partner James, are professional chimney sweeps.
"They say that if you shake the hands of a chimney sweep then you'll have good luck cause we're so few and far between," said Will Wood.
From the chimney roof top to the bottom. They aim to brush chimney gunk away.
"The build-up inside the chimney is called creosote or soot," explained Wood. "What that is , is the combustion of wood. It's very, very highly volatile and it will catch on fire. Most of the chimneys...that I've seen that have caught on fire will literally burn the house down."
To prevent chimney house fires, Woods says you need to have your chimney cleaned once a year.
"If we don't get the word out, people are still going to have chimney fires and people are going to understand that it can be prevented," said the expert.
From heat-a-lator chimneys to free standing wood stoves, nasty soot can be hazardous. And, when it comes to wood-burning fire places, there are more tips to know.
"Don't put wood that you would just cut down, the green wood," he explained. "The reason is because, first all, that's going to be a hotter fire. The best type of wood is seasoned Oak and seasoned Pine. Any type of seasoned wood is good for the chimney."
Wood says if your eyes water and smoke starts filling the house, that's a clear red flag that you need to clean your chimney ASAP.