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November 23, 2017 10:11 PM

Fire Officials Remind Homeowners To Clean Chimneys Before Use This Winter

Rapid City, SD

A Monday night fire at a cabin in Pennington County is a reminder for everyone to get their chimneys cleaned and inspected before using them. 

Priscilla Sayles and her neighbor Roger Grueschow are enjoying the warm weather in western KELOLAND. While the temperature might not have you thinking of using your fireplace anytime soon, Sayles says making sure it's in working condition is in the front of her mind.

"We really do take care of our chimney; we have it inspected every year," Sayles said.

Pennington County Fire Administrator Jerome Harvey says it's important for homeowners to take the time to get their chimneys in proper working order.

"The flue or chimney is designed to pull the poisonous carbon monoxide and other gases away, out away from your living area and it's always good to have that inspected," Harvey said.

Fires can easily start because of a buildup of materials in the chimney.

"It would be a buildup of creosote or other products of the combustional build up inside of chimney, and what will happen is that will be ignited and they'll be building their fire for the evening and they'll hear a rumbling sound," Harvey said. "That's generally the sound of the fire taking off in the chimney."

So while Sayles enjoys her time outside this week, she knows that she'll also be ready to enjoy the indoors on cold days, knowing her chimney has passed a safety inspection.

"Probably just that it's inspected on a yearly basis and enjoy the fire because it's a warm feeling, and cozy and homey and we love it," Sayles said.

Harvey adds that it's also important to make sure you have escape plans and that your smoke alarms work in case a fire does break out at your home.

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