Remove Soot and Ashes from Fireplace. For simple cleaning, start by removing the ashes from the fireplace. During the cold season, make sure that the ashes don't build up to a depth greater than about 2".
Have your Chimney Cleaned Professionally before the first snowfall. Check your Smoke detector and Carbon Monoxide detector. Also change their batteries to make sure they perform when you need them most. The best practice is to check the detectors when you change your clocks, during Daylight Savings Time.
Time for Spring Cleaning! Remove ALL of the ashes from the fireplace. Use a flat fireplace shovel to clean out the ashes and finish up by vacuuming. Remove Soot and Fire Stains by spraying on a mixture of soapy water, let set for 30 minutes and scrub off with a bristled brush and rags.