Since the temperature began to drop and area residents turned to indoor heat sources, Miami firefighters have fought about six house fires attributed to improper maintenance of chimneys and flues, said Fire Chief Kevin Trease.

“This time of year, chimneys and flues are the biggest contributors to house fires,” Trease said. “In almost every case, they could have been avoided with proper maintenance.”

Regular chimney and flue sweeping can save a home, fire officials say.

Earlier this week, firefighters responded to the home of G.W. Haynes, whose home sustained significant damage caused by a fire that reportedly began in a single-wall flue.

According to firefighters, the blaze spread quickly through the attic of the home and caused damage throughout the house.

Haynes was home at the time and was able to escape with no injuries

“People need to have their chimneys and flues cleaned at least once a year — I do it twice a year,” Trease said. “You also need to have someone check it out. Make sure there are no cracks in it, etc.”

Trease said residents should also be careful with holiday decorations.

“We have the occasional fire caused by Christmas decorations,” Trease said. “Most of them are caused by circuit overloads.”

Trease also advised residents to check the smoke detectors in their homes regularly to make sure they are working properly.