Have your chimney inspected by a professional prior to the start of every heating season and cleaned if necessary. Creosote, a chemical substance that forms when wood burns, builds up in chimneys and can cause a chimney fire if not properly cleaned. Always protect your home and your family by using a sturdy screen when burning fires.
Remember to burn only wood. Never burn paper or pine boughs; they can float out the chimney and ignite your roof or a neighboring home. Never use flammable liquids in a fireplace. If you are purchasing a factory-built fireplace, select one listed by a testing laboratory and have it installed according to local codes.