During the prolonged power outages after Hurricane Sandy, chimney expert Bill Bickel received almost two dozen phone calls from homeowners who rarely used their chimney but wanted him to check them out immediately so they could use them to heat their homes.
A better idea is to make sure your chimney is always ready to go. Bickel, who owns Bill Bickel Chimney Sweep in Dumont, suggests having your chimney swept and inspected every two years. It’s not a bad idea to ask your chimney sweep to give some pointers on lighting fires. And if you use it frequently, have it cleaned and checked every 40 fires or so.