ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With the colder weather, the woodstoves and fireplaces may be dusted off. With that, however, the proper safety precautions are needed.

You may have pushed this home-care task out of mind, but it’s time to get your chimney swept and with it being the end of fire safety prevention week, experts say this kind of maintenance is something that can help prevent a bigger problem.

“This time of year, you’re going to have a lot of people that are starting to want to use their fireplaces, their woodstoves,” John Maurer, owner of Top Hat Chimney Service and Firefighter says.

This is the best time to clean them out too. Maurer says your chimney needs to be cleaned annually, but make sure it’s being done by the right people.

“They should be cleaned, swept, and inspected by a certified chimney sweep,” he says. “Someone who’s certified with the CICA, the Chimney Safety Institute of America, NFPA-211 which is the National Fire Prevention Association.”

It’s important to use the right wood, as well. Maurer says it needs to be dry and seasoned, adding that it’s an essential step to also check the moisture content.

“Burning wet wood or unseasoned wood will cause a lot of problems in chimneys, specifically with the build-up that you’re gonna get from burning that stuff,” Maurer says.

He says it’s important to maintain proper uptake of the chimney, adding every time you burn wood, it’s created creosote.

“Creosote is a fuel and when you put that fuel into your chimney, you now have combustible material in there,” he says.

When you’re burning a fire in your woodstove, Maurer says it’s important to contain that fire right in the firebox.