Real Estate News

Check fireplaces before using them during the cold months

By WENDY DONAHUEChicago Tribune

Winter weather means manywood-burning fireplaces â€"some of them long dormantâ€" are being called into action.Before you strike that match,consider a few safety and maintenancetips from experts atHGTV and Angie’s List, whichprovides consumer reviews ofservice companies.

Wood-burning fireplaces andchimneys should be inspectedannually, or after about 80 fires,by a certified chimney sweep.The home should have functioningcarbon-monoxide detectors.

“This is not negotiable â€" anyfireplace or chimney that’s notfunctioning perfectly can killyour family, either through fireor noxious fumes,â€