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It is time to sweep your chimney

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A family's plan to warm up by the fireplace nearly cost them their home.

Fire crews battled a blaze near Southwest 104th and Fairview Friday afternoon.

Fire department officials said this isn’t the first blaze they battled this season involving a fire place and unfortunately it won't be their last.

The drop in temperature means an increase of fires.

“From candles, fireplaces and other heating equipment,” said Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson.

The good news is that most fires are preventable.

Fulkerson said it`s time for people to start getting their fireplaces prepared for the cold.

“Before you use it each year, have a chimney specialist, a chimney sweep technician come out and inspect and/or clean your chimney to make sure this doesn`t happen to you,” Fulkerson said.

Fireplace Specialist owner Zane Davidson stresses the importance of proper maintenance.

This is Davidson's busiest time of the year. He said if you haven't thought about getting your chimney inspected, now may be the time to do it.

“A lot of people not finding out they have a problem until they turn it on,” Davidson said.

Chimney sweeps are crucial, but the reminder isn't only for wood burning fireplaces.

Davidson said checking your gas unit is equally as important.

“Have a trained professional come out and make sure it is operating the way it needs to be. It ensures you are safe, and it works when you want it to work,” Davidson said.

An inspection will cost you roughly $125. But Davidson said that's nothing when you think about the potential damage a fireplace can cause.

“If we see a problem, we can hit it off before it becomes a major problem,” Davidson said.

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