This year, our friends at the National Safety Council (NSC) are celebrating 100 years of programs and services that aim to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities and on the road.

The NSC has shared some surprising data that speaks directly to our mission to better educate homeowners and professionals on chimney safety awareness.

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The NSC article, which utilized data from the U.S. Fire Administration, reports that heating appliances caused nearly 50,100 residential fires nationwide from 2008 to 2010. The heating-related fires resulted in 150 deaths, more than 500 injuries and average of $326 million in property loss annually.

Of these fires, 87 percent involved a heating appliance chimney.

We think the numbers are troubling, and our best advice is to schedule an annual inspection of your home’s chimneys and to take preventative maintenance measures to help keep your home and family from becoming part of these statistics.

CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps are trained and tested to be able to identify the conditions that can lead to chimney fires and properly address them.

The numbers don’t lie, chimney fires are a real danger, and you and your family can be safer when you have your chimneys inspected regularly.