Our Wisdom from the Hearth blog is dedicated to providing consumers with information to make the best decisions as it relates to the safety and efficiency of the chimneys in their homes.

Our year-around work on the blog page is an extension of National Chimney Safety Week, which was first observed in 1978 to bring awareness to potential chimney dangers and the need for regular maintenance to ensure safety.

In 2012, National Chimney Safety Week is set for Sunday, September 30, through Saturday, October 6. We at the Chimney Safety Institute of America will join with thousands of chimney sweeps and other professionals to communicate the importance of chimney safety.

Why are we so focused on promoting safety?

According the most recent data available from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, some 80,000 residential structure fires each year are related to fireplace chimneys and chimneys connected to home heating systems. The estimated cost of the annual damage approaches $700 million.

But there is another element of chimney safety that we will be promoting this year, and it is directly related to your checkbook. Nationwide, as the demand for chimney sweeping services increases each fall, scammers may try to prey on consumers’ lack of expertise when it comes to chimneys and how they operate in your home.

During National Chimney Safety Week, we’ll be emphasizing the dangers posed by scammers and arming consumers with information that will help them protect themselves from paying too much or becoming victims of faulty repair work.

Here at the blog, we’ll begin unveiling the 4 Most Common Chimney Scams on Monday, October 1, and we’ll post about another scam each day through Thursday, October 4.

So be safe this fall and winter, and join us here at the blog starting next week!