chimney bumping up against new addition
Photo: Matt Koch
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Chim-Chim-Cheree (of Death)

In some cases, fires are hard to prevent. In others—well you're just asking for it. Take the homeowner who neglects to maintain his chimney on a regular basis. Doing so leads to a build up of flammable creosote, which can lead to a build up of deadly carbon monoxide in his home, and, eventually, a chimney fire, which can take down the entire house. Chimney safety is often overlooked, especially by this homeowner, who tacked on an addition while neglecting to compensate for the chimney height, which must be at least 2 feet higher than any nearby structure and 3 feet above the roof it passes through. If just one fiery spark from the fireplace makes its way up here, kaboom! Just be sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually. 
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