AIKEN -- Sitting by a roaring fire in your fireplace this time of year can feel great, but if you're chimney isn't cleared out, it can be a huge hazard.
For Monica Hall, cleaning dishes is something she's more than familiar with doing, but her fireplace is another story.
“I wasn't sure the condition of it and I wanted to make sure it was clean before I used it,” she said.
So, Monica decided to get her chimney swept.
“"This is average, exactly average," said Tim Roberts of All-Kleen Chimney Sweep who came over to do the dirty work.
And, like most chimneys, Monica’s required a lot of brushing, scrubbing and vacuuming to get it clean, to get all the soot, ash and creosote out.
"As it builds up, it heats and reheats and adheres to the side," Roberts said.
And then it becomes a fire danger.
Between 2002 and 2004, the Chimney Safety Institute of America reported more than 25,000 chimney fires that killed 30 people; fires that are almost always completely preventable.
But that's not the only thing you should be doing to your house this time of year. Fall means falling leaves and if you have gutters, they're probably clogging them up.
Tim says ignoring them can lead to big problems down the road. "Without cleaning them out, the water will sit and splash back against the fascia and rot your fascia board," he said.
That could cost you thousands of dollars.
So, there you go, two big problems that created by what Tim says are people abiding by a popular saying: "A lot of folks think out of sight and out of mind."
By putting it in sight and in mind, it could save you big bucks on your home and even save your life.