Fireplaces, space heaters, Christmas trees and holiday candles: It’s easy to see why home fires are more common during the fall and winter months. To help keep homes and families safe, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has declared Oct. 7 through Oct. 13 its annual Fire Prevention Week. This year’s Fire Prevention Week is encouraging people across the county to “Look. Listen. Learn. Be Aware. Fire Can Happen Anywhere.”
The first step in decreasing your home’s winter safety risk is: Look. Look around your home for potential fire hazards. Hazards include overloaded extension cords or electrical outlets; fireplaces or chimneys that have not been swept or inspected before being used for the season; clothing dryer vents that haven’t been cleaned within a year; appliances like irons and curling irons that are left plugged in and unattended; and candles that are too close to combustible and that could be knocked over by a pet or a small child. Also take a look at your home’s heating appliances. There should be a minimum of a 3-foot “safety zone” around fireplaces, heating stoves, furnaces and space heaters that are left free of flammable items such as furniture, books, pillows, blankets, curtains or other items that could catch fire and spread. Hire professionals from Nortech Services in Renton to help.
Know to listen for the sound of smoke alarms in your home. According to the NFPA, a working smoke alarm can cut your risk of dying in home fire by half. Make sure any children in your home know what your smoke alarms sound like and what they should do if they hear smoke alarms going off. Check your home to be sure it’s equipped with enough smoke alarms; there should be a smoke alarm on every level of your home and in every sleeping area. Each fall, test your smoke alarm to be sure they are in working condition. Get help when you test your smoke alarms; have someone stand at the opposite end of your home while you push the test button to be sure that they can hear the alarm going off. You should be able to hear at least one smoke alarm sounding from every area of your home and sounding loud enough to wake you up or alert you to a problem.
Just having smoke detectors and listening for the sound of your smoke detectors isn’t enough. You and your family should have a plan of action for what to do when the smoke detectors sound. Your plan should include at least two ways out of every room in your home, a meeting place a safe distance from your home and a plan for calling 911 in the event of a fire. Make sure everyone in your home knows the plan well enough to execute it in an emergency; that might include practicing your fire exit plan, especially if you have small children in your home.
If you need help keeping your home safe from a home fire this winter, A to Z Chimney Services can help! We can sweep and inspect your chimney; service your fireplace or heating stove; or clean your clothing dryer vents to be sure that these appliances aren’t posing a risk in your home.
Preventing Chimney Fires
October is the month that we celebrate the hallowed holiday of Halloween. It’s the time of year that little Ghosts, Goblins, and superheroes litter the streets with candy wrappers claimed from local residents. But what could possibly be scarier than a little haunted hellion roaming the streets after dark?
A monster in your chimney, that’s what!
You’ve never heard of a chimney monster? Well let me describe it to you……
It’s a cold outside and you’ve been looking forward to curling up to a nice warm fire all day. Your fire is happily roaring away as you just settle in for a good book when all of a sudden a chimney fire starts and you hear the chimney monster ROAR! The roar of a chimney fire comes from massive amounts of air whooshing into your fireplace as it’s sucked up the flue to feed the roaring chimney fire. It’s been described as the sound of a freight train passing through the living room or a jetliner hovering directly over the house.
With flames shooting out of the top of your chimney spewing flaming creosote all over your roof and surrounding trees and shrubs, experiencing the roar of a chimney monster can be a scary and potentially dangerous situation…. but you can avoid getting spooked by a chimney monster this October… do the right thing and get it swept!
Don’t get the pants scared off of you this Halloween season! Make sure your chimney is safe and ready to burn fires in this winter by having it professionally swept and inspected by one of A to Z’s certified chimney technicians. After all…. an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure when it comes to chimney cleaning and maintenance! It’s less expensive than most people think and the peace of mind is worth every penny.
Call 916-408-2496 in order to schedule your next chimney sweeping appointment before the fall rush sets in!
Knowing the Basic Parts of Your Chimney
What usually comes to mind when you look at a chimney, aside from Santa Claus of course? Warmth and heat, comfort perhaps? Yes, chimneys were made for these things. But just like any other thing, it also has to be given proper attention and care to be able to give us what we long for, and more importantly, to ensure maximum safety for the residents of the house. Having said this, homeowners should know what the basic parts and functions of the chimney are so that they can assess and address any problem that might arise. They’ll also know when to call us, the experts.
Why Do I Need to Know?
Chimneys might look perfect on the outside but a lot of hazardous and unwanted problems can occur on the inside; molds, soot and creosote build-up, blockages, etc. We think those reasons are enough for you to take the time to learn about the most basic and fundamental parts of your chimney.
Basic and Fundamental Parts and Functions
These are some of the parts you need to pay close attention to. First is the chimney crown and chimney cap which is considered the first line of defense of your chimney. It protects your chimney from any blockage and prevents water from seeping into the inside of your chimney.
Second, the flue and the flue liner which should be in excellent condition. This is where the smoke of harmful gases from combustion passes through. This also eliminates possibilities of flammable debris from gathering. You have to be mindful of creosote that might be building up in the flue walls though.
The smoke chamber is just as important as well. This is the part is found above the fireplace and just beneath the flue. It is where by products are compressed into a smaller area to prevent draft from happening and allows smoke to escape via the flue.
And last but not the least is the chimney damper. This will help regulate the energy used or unused during and after using your fireplace or wood stove. It is used to close the chimney to prevent heated air from being lost up the chimney.
What to Do Next?
We from A to Z Window Screen, Chimney Sweep & Dryer Vent Cleaning Company will be there for you and your chimney especially when you want to get your chimney inspected or if you want to get a certain part fixed. However, it’s your job to be ready to dial our numbers once you notice that there’s definitely something wrong going on. Being educated about your chimney may seem unimportant, but trust us, it will be worth it.