When it comes to home fires, most homeowners prefer to not consider the possibility. Ignoring the risk of a home fire, however, could leave your home at risk. Instead of pushing aside the possibility of a fire in your home, look to prevention! Are you doing everything you can to keep your home safe from a fire? Here are several fire prevention elements that are often overlooked.
Many homeowners neglect their chimneys, especially if they don’t often use their fireplaces or heating stoves. This can be a major mistake when it comes to keeping your home safe from a chimney fire. Chimneys that are clogged from creosote can catch fire. Even if you don’t frequently use your chimney, an animal, bird or debris that finds its way in can create a blockage that could combust. To lower your home’s risk of a fire, the Chimney Safety Institute recommends having your chimney swept and inspected by a certified chimney sweep at least once per year, generally between fire-burning season.
During your annual chimney sweeping, your chimney sweep should be on the lookout for a breakdown of your chimney structure, particularly your chimney liner, that could lead to a chimney fire. If there are cracks, holes or weaknesses in the liner, heat and sparks could escape your chimney and gain access to your home’s structure, sparking a fire. Be sure to ask about the soundness of your chimney liner and fire bricks during your annual chimney inspection. If your sweep advises that your chimney or firebox need to be relined or repaired, don’t burn another fire until you have had the necessary work done.
Dryer vent cleaning
Just like chimneys, dryer vents can become clogged over time and cause a fire risk in your home. Like your fireplace chimney, your clothing dryer vents should be cleaned and inspected at least once per year. A professional cleaning will thoroughly remove any lint that leads to a fire. If you do a higher than average amount of laundry, you may need to have your dryer vents cleaned more often; know that it’s a warning sign of clogged vents if your dryer is taking longer to dry a load of laundry or if your dryer or laundry room becomes unusually hot when the dryer is in use.
Install smoke alarms throughout your home
A smoke alarm won’t prevent a fire, but they are your home’s best defense against complete destruction, and your family’s largest protector in case of a home fire. Smoke alarms should be installed on each floor of your home and in every sleeping area. Be sure to check your smoke alarms at least once every six months to be sure that they are still working properly.
Call A to Z Chimney Services!
For chimney sweeps, we know it is part of our responsibility to help lower our customers’ risk of home fires, and at A to Z Chimney Services, we take that responsibility seriously. Whether you need a chimney sweeping, dryer vent cleaning or chimney relining, call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule an appointment today!
In just a few days, the man with all the toys will make his way down the chimney to fill stockings and leave presents under the tree. Don’t make Santa come down a dirty chimney — call A to Z Chimney Sweep to have your chimney swept and inspected before Santa Claus comes to town! Here’s why you need to have your chimney swept this holiday season.
Get rid of dangerous creosote
To lower your home’s risk of a chimney fire, the National Fire Protection Association recommends having your chimney swept and inspected at least once per year. Every time you burn a fire in your fireplace, creosote forms on the inside of the chimney walls. This creosote is highly flammable; if it builds up to too high of a level on the chimney walls, a stray ember or excessive heat from your fireplace can cause it to ignite. Having your chimney swept before Christmas won’t just keep Santa’s suit from getting sooty, it also can help protect your home from a fire!
Be sure that your chimney is free from blockages
Santa needs to be able to get down the chimney on Christmas Eve. Are you sure that your chimney is blockage free? When temperatures drop outside, chimneys seem like a warm and inviting place, and animals often will seek shelter inside. Or, high winds can blow leaves and other debris down the chimney that can cause the clogs. Blockages in the chimney won’t just prevent Santa’s passage. It also can ignite in the fireplace, and prevent smoke and carbon monoxide from exiting your home. A pre-Christmas chimney sweep ensures Santa can come down the chimney and helps save your home from smoke, carbon monoxide and a potential chimney fire.
Don’t let foul chimney smells ruin your holidays
Dirty chimneys can be stinky. When your chimney isn’t in use, negative pressure in your home, caused by air-tight windows and other vented appliances, can pull air down the chimney and into your home. That can lead to foul smells that interfere with your enjoyment of the holidays. On top of that, you don’t want to make Santa come down a stinky chimney! Santa hates going down stinky chimneys; the smell is hard to get out of the Santa suit!
Don’t let a dirty chimney ruin your holiday season. A dirty chimney can cause a host of problems for Santa Claus, and it can be a danger or inconvenience from your home. A dirty chimney poses a fire hazard, it can cause smoke or carbon dioxide to flow back into your home, or it can fill your home with embarrassing odors during holiday gatherings. Call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule your pre-Christmas chimney sweeping today!
When was the last time you thought about your chimney? With summer in full swing, the answer is probably not anytime recently. Taking the time to care for your chimney this summer pays dividends this fall. Here’s what you stand to gain by scheduling your chimney sweeping and inspection this summer.
When summer turns to fall, most homeowners turn to their fireplace and chimney systems in anticipation of cooler days ahead. That leads to a fall rush for chimney sweeps, which can have you waiting weeks to have your chimney swept and inspected. When you schedule your chimney sweeping during the summer, you beat the fall rush. You won’t have to wait weeks for a chimney sweep. You will also have an easier time finding an appointment that fits best into your schedule.
Ample Time for Repairs and Improvements
Usually, chimney sweepings and inspections are quick, no-fuss affairs. However, sometimes inspections uncover problems. Or, sometimes homeowners take advantage of their chimney technician’s expertise to discuss the possibility of hearth improvements. Whether your chimney requires a necessary repair or you’d like to upgrade your fireplace or chimney, a summertime chimney sweeping and inspection provides you with all the time you need to have work done. By not waiting for fall, you have ample time to have a repair or an upgrade made to your fireplace or chimney.
Eliminate or Avoid Chimney Odors
Chimneys can be stinky places. The byproducts that accumulate in your chimney can cause unpleasant odors on their own. Sometimes, animals or debris find their way in and cause an entirely different array of smells to emanate from your chimney. Odors often intensify during the summer, when chimneys sit unused and warm temperatures embellish any trapped stenches. Having your chimney swept in the summer can remove the root causes of chimney odors. This will save you from the frustration and embarrassment of having chimney odors fill your home on hot summer days.
Protect Your Chimney
In addition to causing odors, buildup in your chimney can cause damage. If animals make home in your chimney, their nests and claws can damage your chimney liner. In addition, rotting debris can hold damaging moisture against your chimney flue. The byproducts of your fires alone are corrosive and can wear away at chimney liners if allowed to sit in place. Sweeping your chimney as soon as the fire-burning season ends removes any damaging buildup. This in turn extends the life of your chimney liner.
Caring for your chimney during the summer instead of waiting until the fall allows you to conveniently schedule your appointment, gives you time to make repairs or improvements, eliminates chimney odors, and protects your chimney liner. A to Z Chimney Services can clean and inspect your chimney this summer so your fireplace is ready for the fall. Don’t forget about your chimney this summer – schedule your sweeping with A to Z Chimney Services today!
If you have a chimney, you probably understand the importance of regular chimney sweeping. Chimney sweeping keeps your chimney clear of dangerous, flammable creosote, so you can use your fireplace safely season after season. But in addition to your annual chimney sweeping, that National Fire Protection Association recommends that you have your chimney inspected every year, in addition to your regular sweeping. So why is a chimney inspection so important?
A chimney inspection can spot dangerous deterioration or damage.
There are many portions of your chimney that can’t easily be seen. That includes the chimney crown, the chimney cap and the chimney flue. During a thorough inspection, your chimney sweep will inspect all of the components of your fireplace and chimney to ensure that there aren’t any cracks or deterioration that could pose a fire hazard or other danger. For heating stoves, inserts and gas fireplaces, a chimney inspection also includes an inspection of all seals, gaskets and working components of the fireplace to be sure that the unit is operating safely and efficiently.
A chimney inspection guarantees that your chimney is clear.
In addition to creosote, there are plenty of things that can make their way into your chimney and cause dangerous blockages. That includes natural debris, such as leaves and twigs, and animals who either wander accidentally into your chimney or who see your chimney as the perfect nesting place. A chimney inspection guarantees that there aren’t any dangerous blockages — which can ignite and pose a fire threat or force dangerous fireplace gases back into your home — within your chimney.
Structure and Safety
A chimney inspection guarantees that your chimney is properly constructed.
If you’ve never had the chimney in your home inspected, you need to schedule a chimney inspection now! Often, chimneys aren’t properly constructed. Components can be improperly sized for your fireplace or constructed from the wrong materials. Sometimes builders cut corners on chimney construction, or they don’t follow local clearances for chimneys and fire-burning appliances. When a chimney is improperly constructed it can, at worst, pose a fire hazard. At the very least, an improperly constructed chimney won’t work to efficiently remove smoke from your home, and it will break down prematurely, putting your fireplace and home at risk for water damage.
A chimney inspection can save you money!
In addition to keeping your home and your family safe by ensuring that your chimney is well constructed, in good shape and free from obstructions, a chimney inspection can save you money in the long run! Most chimney damage gets worse with time, and chimney damage can expose your home’s structure to water, heat, undue pressure or other hazards that can harm the building itself. A chimney inspection allows you to spot and fix problems with your chimney early, saving you from major, costly repairs down the road.
If you are overdue for a chimney inspection, or if you’ve never had your chimney inspected, call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule your chimney inspection today! Our chimney technicians will make sure your fireplace and chimney are safe to use this fire-burning season.
The stretch from Thanksgiving to the New Year has most people busy with shopping, cooking and cleaning. This is all in preparation for holiday celebrations and holiday guests. As you prepare your home for the holiday season, add a chimney sweeping to your holiday checklist!
Why have your chimney swept for the holidays?
A chimney sweeping should already be part of your annual home maintenance. Most homeowners will have their chimneys swept and inspected each fall, before they light the first fire of the season. If you’ve missed your fall chimney cleaning and inspection, a pre-holiday chimney sweeping and inspection comes with many benefits, including:
- A safer home for your family, pets and guests. When it comes to chimney sweepings and inspections, it really is about safety first. Your annual chimney sweeping and inspection ensures that your chimney is clear of dangerous, flammable creosote. Also, any blockages, deterioration, and defects. The would all put your home and family at an increased risk of a home fire, or carbon monoxide poisoning. That’s why the National Fire Prevention Association advises that chimneys be swept and inspected at least once per year.
- Fresher air in your home. A dirty chimney can fill your home with a variety of foul smells, including a burning smell, rotting smell, musty smell or decaying smell. When holiday guests are on their way, no one wants to be embarrassed by a smelly home. A chimney sweeping and inspection can clear away the source of bad odors and leave your home smelling cleaner.
- A more efficient fireplace. Your annual chimney sweeping and inspection includes a cleaning and inspection of your fireplace, too. Especially if you have a heating stove, insert or gas fireplace, that cleaning and maintenance helps your fireplace to operate more efficiently, providing you with more heat for less money.
- Monetary savings. In addition to the holidays, this time of the year can also bring harsh, wet weather. If your chimney has a leak or structural deterioration, your home and your chimney are susceptible to further damage that can cost you a lot of money down the road. During your annual sweeping and inspection, your chimney technician will point out any deficiencies and make recommendations for repairing your chimney to keep it safe from further damage.
- An opportunity for upgrades. If you have been thinking about upgrading your fireplace to increase its efficiency, its heating power or its efficiency, your chimney sweeping and inspection provides the perfect opportunity to talk your chimney sweep about the possibility of upgrades. You can even have your fireplace upgraded in time for the holidays so you and your guests can enjoy your warm, beautiful fireplace this holiday season.
Don’t wait, call now!
If you are ready to check an item off your holiday to-do list; realize the benefits of a chimney cleaning and inspection. Call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule your appointment today!