OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - With the arrival of the holidays and cooler weather on the horizon, the firewood is stacked and ready to go and people are thinking about stoking up the old fireplace. But wait a minute.
"There are a lot of hidden dangers in a fireplace. A chimney fire can reach 3,000 degrees," said Bobby Sullivan, owner of Top Hat Chimney Store.
One of Sullivan's chimney sweeps, Walter Ingram, climbs a chimney on the roof of a home in Ocean Springs. Sullivan says this is prime time for getting your chimney ready for winter.
"Once the cold weather starts, our phones ring off the hook."
Ingram removes soot, looks for water damage and makes sure birds and other animals have not set up shop in the chimney. Walter even has time for a little holiday humor.
"Around Christmas, I'll find a little red velvet. I think Santa has torn his britches," Ingram said with a smile on his face.
As for firewood, Sullivan offers this advice.
"Use hard woods, not pine or other soft woods. With pine you get too much creosote in the chimney."
Creosote is a fireplace owner's worst enemy.
It's important to have the chimney swept and the fireplace cleaned. You would be shocked to learn about the amount of stuff inside a chimney.