As the first day of autumn rolls around, home winter prep may be on your mind.

Parry Sound Fire Chief Dave Thompson says when you’re writing a to-do list, make sure to add chimney cleaning. Thompson says one of the top seasonal calls to the fire department is about chimney fires. He says sometimes people just forget.

“People shut down their fireplaces in the Spring,” says Thompson. “It starts getting cooler and they just think of firing it up again, but often times that creosote’s gone extremely dry over the summer. The first thing that happens they fire it up and the creosote in the chimney goes off.”

Thompson says your best bet is hiring a local professional to come by and get the job done.

“We always encourage hiring a qualified professional to come in and assess the chimney and do a proper cleaning,” says Thompson. “If you take care of those things yourself, we encourage everyone to be safe.”

If you’re using gas instead of wood to heat your home, Thompson says it’s a good time to have someone come in and check your furnace.

“Carbon monoxide is one of other high fall time calls,” says Thompson. “We encourage every year, the people should be hiring a professional to come in and take a look at (the furnace).”

He says carbon monoxide leaks can be costly to your wallet and more importantly your life.

He also suggests checking your smoke and monoxide detectors to make sure they’re ready to protect your home.

“Everyone who has any type of fuel-fired appliance within their home needs to have a carbon monoxide detector on every floor.”