Our Company Blog

Child-Proofing Your Fireplace

Child-proofing your fireplace is more complicated than adding clips to your cupboards and gates to your stairs. The best way to keep your child safe around your fireplace this winter? Keep them away from it! However, you can only do that when you are with them to redirect and teach them.

Child-Proofing Your Fireplace Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsThe Rules:

  1.  Your child should never be left alone with a fireplace, until is has been out of use for several hours. This is the most important rule for child safety during the burning months.
  2.  Your child should never be allowed to play near the fireplace, not even during summer months! Allowing your child to play on the hearth or near the fireplace when it’s out of use? Then he or she will not understand that it is an unsafe place to play.

Though these are important things to remember, there are definitely many other things you can do to child-proof your fireplace for the winter.

Fire-Proof Baby Gate

There are many great options on the market for baby-gates and play yards that attach to the walls on either side of your fireplace. These come in a variety of styles, colors, and materials. They can also be made to match your home decor and even your fireplace. These gates can be cumbersome when you carry wood to your hearth. So it’s a good idea to install one with an easy opening. However, if you have a gas fireplace, this is a great option and won’t be a hazard to the adults!

Fireplace Screens

Fireplace screens can match your hearth and fireplace and add another level of protection. They are designed to keep catch stray sparks from flying out and causing burns. However, a freestanding screen is not a great option for child-safety, because it can be pulled over onto the child, or the child can fall onto it, into the fire. You can still get a fireplace screen that works for your home. A certified chimney sweep can install a screen that attaches to the fireplace and is still beautiful and functional.

Custom Glass Doors

Glass doors can be a beautiful addition to any fireplace. They allow homeowners to control the heat from the fireplace and still allow the fire to burn. Glass doors heat quickly, though, and although they can protect your child from falling into the fireplace, the glass will still burn anyone who touches it.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

When your fireplace is installed or serviced your certified chimney sweep will most likely mention carbon monoxide detectors. This is an important preventative measure to protect all the people in your home. Carbon monoxide is often called The Silent Killer because the symptoms of poisoning are so subtle that there is substantial damage to the body before the exposure is realized. The best way to protect your family is to install carbon monoxide detectors and to replace the batteries as needed.

Another way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning as well as other breathing issues caused by particulate pollution from fires is to keep the chimney and fireplace clean. By scheduling regular chimney sweeps and inspections with a chimney expert you insure the fireplace is working at it’s most efficient, meaning that it is venting all the waste from the fire up the chimney and it doesn’t come into your home—and your child’s lungs.

At Pristine Sweeps the safety and comfort of our customers is our top priority. Contact Pristine Sweeps today to discuss child-proofing your fireplace. We have a technician that can help.

By Aaron Woodward | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Don’t Fall for a Scam! Research Your Chimney Sweep!

Chimney Sweep Scams Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsOpen the phone book and you can find dozens of mechanics, plumbers, construction companies, and more. When the price is right how do you figure out which company is best suited for the job? The chimney industry has become a large one as more emphasis has been placed on chimney safety in recent years, so finding the best company can be difficult. Just like other industries, there are a few things to look for when finding the professional for you.

Check Credentials

If you ask a chimney sweep company for credentials they should have no problem producing documentation. Most companies will even have such documents displayed on the wall. Since 1983 the standard by which chimney sweeps are measured is the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS). The CSIA standard stands alone in the industry for more than one reason:

Non-profit status

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to a mission of educating homeowners for chimney safety. CSIA is even governed by a body of volunteers who are industry professionals and technical experts. The best minds in the industry come together to provide the best services, standards, and instruction.

Code of Ethics

A CSIA certified chimney sweep and a chimney company that adheres to the standards of CSIA also follows a stringent code of ethics designed to protect homeowners from scams in the industry. If a member violates this code their membership can be revoked.

Accreditation

CSIA standards are regulated by the Indiana State Workforce Innovation Council, Office of Career and Technical Schools. This is the same standard that schools of technology must adhere in the state of Indiana.

Presentation and Professionalism

Something as simple as a company vehicle can tell you how serious a company is. If someone shows up in a beat-up, old car, you might want to rethink the appointment. Look for a company that has a professional presentation, a business vehicle, uniforms, and name tags.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts we can be dooped by false documentation and pretend-technicians. Avoid this experience by starting your search off right. Find a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep in your area. Pristine Sweeps is one of the only chimney sweep companies in Seattle that maintains a CSIA certification. This is a standard we have for all of our technicians, and our company is also a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), another standard you should look for when searching for a chimney company.

While so many scams are happening during the holidays, don’t fall prey to such things. Just as you protect your home and family by scheduling regular chimney maintenance, you should also protect your finances from scams and exploitation. Stick with the most trust company in Seattle, and choose Pristine Sweeps. In business since 2008, our team is passionate about the safety and comfort of our customers in Seattle and beyond.

Call Pristine Sweeps at 206-574-8414 or request an appointment online.

By Aaron Woodward | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment