With winter weather fast approaching, Casper Fire-EMS is urging the importance of fireplace and chimney cleanliness this fall and winter.

Justin Smith is with Casper Fire-EMS. He says the fire department does loan out fireplace cleaning equipment to residents.

“Often times, people are do-it-yourselfers, and we’ve got brushes for loan at the fire station that they can come check out,” Smith said. “However, I can’t stress how important it is to have those (fireplaces and wood stoves) inspected as well.”

Fire officials recommend burning only seasoned wood in fireplaces and not green wood, artificial logs or trash.

Smith says fireplace owners should schedule professional inspections of pipes and chimneys annually. Owners should also check for damage or obstructions every month.