Profile America — Sunday, September 25th. According to the song "Chim-chim-cher-ee" from "Mary Poppins," a soot-covered chimney sweep is a sign of good luck. While there may be fewer chimneys today than in old London, just over half of new homes in the U.S. are built with at least one fireplace. And in 290,000 homes, a fireplace is the main source of heat, many with wood-burning inserts. With the heating season nearing, homeowners should make sure their chimneys are free of obstructions and creosote buildup from past seasons. That's why this is National Chimney Safety Week. To underline the importance of this maintenance, there are 403,000 residential fires in the U.S. each year, many of them originating in improperly maintained chimneys. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2011, p. 481 Statistical Abstract of the United States 2011, t. 983, 966, 353
Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).
CONTACT: Rick Reed of the U.S. Census Bureau, +1-301-763-2812, fax: +1-301-763-3762, rreed-at-census.gov