Summer has rapidly turned to fall and you know what's comin' next... winter.

Some of you may have already prepped for the colder seasons - bought your candles, maybe stocked up on new scarves and sweaters, pulled out your hats and mittens bin from the back of the closet.

But is your house ready?

Fire officials in Maine are taking this opportunity to remind Mainers that they need to clean out their chimneys if they plan on using their fireplaces to heat their homes this fall and winter (and probably spring, if we're being honest. It's Maine, after all.)

According to WGME, it's prudent to get a professional to clean your chimney for you. Depending on the service, hiring a licensed technician could run you anywhere between $150-$200, but it's well worth it to avoid a house fire. You'll know your chimney needs cleaning by the glossy appearance of creosote that can catch fire if it gets too hot, the news station reported, and another telltale sign that a chimney fire is imminent is tiny flames that appear to extinguish on their own.

WGME states that fire officials warn to take these very seriously, as it's a sure sign your chimney needs a thorough cleaning.

“Fire ghosting can occur. They’ll have flames inside their chimney, that will appear then they’ll go out, reappear, then they’ll be gone. That's really the early signs of a chimney fire,” certified chimney specialist Nickholas Dimastrantonio told WGME.


More From Q97.9