As you snuggle in front of a cozy fire or bask in the warmth of a wood stove. The last thing you are likely to be thinking about is the condition of your chimney. However, if you don’t give some thought to it before you light those winter fires, your enjoyment may be short-lived. Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires, which damage structures, destroy homes and can injure or kill. Chimney fires can burn explosively – noisy and dramatic enough to be detected by neighbors or people passing by. Flames or dense smoke may shoot from the top of the chimney. Homeowners report being startled by a low rumbling sound that reminds them of a freight train or a low flying airplane. However, those are only the chimney fires you know about. Slow-burning chimney fires don’t get enough air or have fuel to be dramatic or visible. But, the temperatures they reach are very high and can cause as much damage to the chimney structure – and nearby combustible parts of the house. With proper chimney system care, chimney fires are entirely preventable. If you are not familiar with how to keep you chimney safe, visit this link for tips and facts about chimney fires.