It's that time of the year... Santa's coming....
HMMMM... not quite right....let's start again..
It's that time of the year... Heating season... (thats better)
Having been on the receiving end of this one... In can tell you that it is not a pleasant experience.... the Chimney fire.
All it takes is a spark from the fire down below to start a conflagration inside your chimney that sounds like a tornado or more like my experience, a freight train.
After I ran out of the house and looked up at my chimney erupting like Mt. Vesuvius and called the Fire Dept.
They soon showed up and dropped some chimney flares, putting out the fire.
After my heart stopped hammering in my chest, I realized what a close call that had been.
Fortunately, no damage occurred, except to my ego, and I swore from that day forward to clean out my chimney, which I did religiously after that on a monthly basis.
If you use your fireplace sparingly, some will recommend a seasonal cleaning. If, on the other hand, You use it daily like I did with a wood stove, the creosote buildup occurs rapidly and the chances of a chimney fire increase exponentially.
Go to the local big box Home improvement store, buy yourself some "chimney Flares", and keep them handy.
And, by all means, get your chimney cleaned and inspected before you burn.