Temperatures are expected to drop as this week progresses, make sure your primary heating source is hazard-free.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fires caused by heating sources cause nearly 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and almost $1 billion in property damage annually. Perry Fire Chief Chris Hinds says something that can get overlooked is the maintenance a chimney requires, “Make sure that you don’t have any kind of an obstruction in there that’s going to cause any kind of backup or obstruction that would cause carbon monoxide backups in your house when you start your fireplace up in the fall. It needs to be checked and not necessarily thoroughly cleaned as it was in the spring. Or if you haven’t cleaned in the spring, it does then need to be thoroughly cleaned in the fall to make sure that there are no creosote buildups in there or nests or anything like that.”

Hinds adds that taking precautions to prevent fires is as important as ever since modern homes are made of more synthetic materials, which cause fires to spread quicker and burn hotter. You can hear more from Hinds on Wednesday’s Perry Fareway Let’s Talk Dallas County Program.