NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — There are over 25,000 reported chimney fires a year in the U.S. according to

Chimney fires can be very dangerous, but they are preventable.

You need to make sure your filters and chimney stacks are clean.

That will not only save you money, but it will save your life.

Experts say if you use your fireplace only sparingly, you only need to clean it once a year.

However, if you use your fireplace a lot, like every day in winter, you should clean it every three months.

The best time to clean your chimney is late summer or early fall, right before winter.

“Birds and animals can build nests in there, squirrels. Just make sure before we get real heavy snowfall that you make sure that there’s nothing going to be blocking it. So, if you got an area where you’re going to have a lot of snow build-up, make sure that you are aware of that, make sure that you keep that clean,” said Minot Fire Department Engineer, Jeremy Croxall.

If a fire does start in your chimney, Minot Fire Department says do not try to put it out, grab your loved ones and pets, get out of the house, and call 911.