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Home fire prevention

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.

Chimney Sweepinghouse on fire

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.

Chimney Relining

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!

Don’t Make Santa Come Down a Dirty Chimney

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 creosoteSanta Comes Down A Dirty Chimney - Sacramento, CA - A to Z Chimney

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!

Don’t Forget Your Chimney This Summer — Have it Inspected 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.

Hassle-Free Scheduling

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!

Add Chimney Sweeping to Your Holiday Checklist

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!

Add Chimney Sweeping to Your Holiday Checklist - Sacramento CA - A to Z Chimney ServicesWhy 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!

Winter is coming; have your chimney inspected!

Winter Chimney Inspection Image - Sacramento CA - A to Z Chimney Service As summer officially draws to a close, it means one thing: Fall’s cooler temperatures soon will be upon us, and you will be ready to light the first fire of winter before you know it. Be ready for the coming winter by scheduling your chimney inspection with A to Z Chimney Services!

The importance of your chimney inspection

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that homeowners have their chimneys and heating appliances cleaned and inspected annually. The general rule of thumb is to have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected between fire-burning seasons. That means if you haven’t had your chimney swept and inspected since your last fire of the spring, you should have it inspected before your light the first fire of fall.

During your chimney inspection, your chimney sweep will do several things, including:

  • Checking the chimney’s creosote levels. Dirty chimneys are a leading cause of chimney fires, and as little as 1/8 inch of creosote buildup can lead to a dangerous and damaging chimney fire. Your sweep will use their specialized brushes to remove any creosote that has accumulated on the walls of your chimney.
  • Making sure that the chimney is free from obstructions. Animals, birds and debris like branches and leaves can lead to blockages in the chimney that can ignite and cause a chimney fire or that can cause smoke or carbon monoxide to build up within a home. Your sweep will make sure that your chimney is free from any blockages.
  • Looking for leaks, cracks or other chimney deficiencies. Cracks, holes or other weaknesses in your chimney can lead to a host of problems. They can allow water to leak in through your chimney, damaging the chimney’s or your home’s structure. Cracks can also allow the heat of your chimney to escape and damage the surrounding studs and supports in your home’s walls. Your sweep will look for the early signs of chimney damage so it can be repaired before your home or chimney is in need of major repairs.
  • Evaluating your fireplace or heating stove. Just like chimneys, fireplaces can break down over time or face malfunctions that could put your home in danger of a fire or of a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide. During your inspection, your chimney sweep also will check your fireplace and all of its working components to look for deficiencies, signs of damage or malfunctioning parts to make sure that it will be working safely and efficiently in the coming cold-weather season.

Fall’s colder temperatures will be upon us before you know it, and you will want to have your fireplace ready to warm your home. Waiting to schedule your inspection could leave you waiting for a sweep or waiting to schedule needed repairs. If you haven’t already had your chimney and fireplace inspected, call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule an appointment today!