How to get your home ready for winter while the weather is still nice

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- It's hard to think about winter weather preparations when we enjoyed sunny, 70-degree weather in November, but a cold snap is on the way for the weekend.

Snowy, cold days inside your home by the fireplace are sure to come, but is your chimney ready to be put to use? There are more than 25,000 chimney fires in the U.S. every year and most are completely preventable.

"If you were to start up and burn with this you don't know what's going on with the system if there has been any animals since the last time you burned," said David Dickenson with Chimney and Masonry Outfitters.

Dickenson says their crews have been swamped with calls full of people doing the right thing: getting a chimney sweep before lighting a fire this season. Outside of an inspection, make sure you're using the proper wood.

"The more popping and cracking you hear initially means there's more moisture in the wood. You want your moisture content to be somewhere between 15-25 percent," said Dickenson.

And while you prepare your home inside, the Department of Public Works is ready to take on the outside. Indy Snow Force assured Hoosiers they're ready to launch this winter. Mayor Joe Hogsett and DPW leaders talked about their plan Thursday afternoon.

DPW has 96 snow removal trucks equipped with plows and salt spreaders along with 18,000 tons of salt.

"Our barns are full of salt, our plows are ready, our crews know what to do when the time comes to mobilize and we are ready to keep Indy safe," Mayor Hogsett said.

So while you're taking in this unseasonably warm weather, don't forget what lies ahead and make sure your family is prepared.

You should have your chimney inspected at least once and year and make sure you use a certified sweep to ensure they are up to date with the most recent safety codes.

For more chimney safety tips visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

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