Are you about to purchase a home, or have you lived in your current home for longer than a year? If so, have you had your chimney or furnace system inspected? The current standard, set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), states, "Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Chimney sweeping, chimney maintenance, and chimney repairs shall be done if necessary." While scheduling an appointment for an annual chimney inspection may seem like just another checklist item, this step can be integral to the safe running of your home heating system. Regular professional inspections and chimney sweeping can keep your fireplace or furnace system free of debris, catch small issues before they turn into large, invasive repairs, and keep your home free of dangerous gases and fire hazards.