Our Company Blog

Fire Safety Tips for Winter

Practicing Fire Safety Photo - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsWinter is in full swing now, even in mild Seattle, and you’re likely using your fireplace regularly, if not daily.

As members of the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) we strive to educate our customers about fire safety. Since our start in 2008 we have made it our top priority at Pristine Sweeps to put our customers safety and comfort above all else and over the years we have even learned a thing or two because of our continued education through CSIA, but also through our experience. No matter how long you’ve had a fireplace, it’s never a bad time to review safety precautions or learn something new.

Treat fire as a danger.

Fire isn’t only dangerous because it is hot and can burn you. Fire also produces harmful byproducts like carbon monoxide that can cause illness and even death.

Teach everyone in your home consistent rules for the fireplace.

You won’t have to worry that someone else is being unsafe with your fireplace if you teach them how to operate it correctly and safely. Set boundaries for people in your home whom you don’t want operating your fireplace. This is important! This can be the one thing that keeps you from costly damage and even injury later (not to mention an insurance claim).

Use proper fuel only.

You should only burn proper fuel in your fireplace. Burning trash or clothes can mean sparks or flames flying out of the fireplace, or up the chimney, igniting debris in the flue. Burning improper fuel also increases the production of soot and creosote, which leads to creosote buildup. A creosote buildup is highly flammable and can also obstruct the airflow required for the chimney to work.

Build a proper fire.

Instead of the traditional fire with kindling on bottom, struggling to light the larger fuel on top, try the top-down burn. It is the opposite of everything you know about fire-building, with the larger logs at the bottom, then medium logs and sticks, with the kindling on top. This creates a cleaner burn because the fire, ashes, and coals fall, igniting the fuel below (bonus: less sparks fly from your fireplace as a result).

Remove wood ash.

Remove wood ash before it crowds your fireplace. If too much ash is allowed to build up in your fireplace it can make it difficult to feed your fire without wood, coals, and ashes falling onto the hearth or out of your stove door. Make sure you clean the fireplace or stove of ashes regularly, allowing for some to blanket the bottom to insulate your coals. Ash removal can be dangerous if you don’t have the proper tools which include a metal bucket and a long-handled shovel. Be sure you do not store hot ashes inside the house, as they can ignite for several hours after removed.

While you only use your fireplace for a few months out of the year, it’s important to remember fireplace safety year round. This includes child-proofing your fireplace and scheduling routine maintenance that keeps your fireplace and chimney in tip-top shape.

Schedule with Pristine Sweeps and worry less. There is always a chimney and fire expert waiting to talk to you.

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

Schedule Your Chimney Sweeping Appointment Now!

Schedule Your Chimney Sweeping Appointment Now Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsWith summer in full swing, most of us have absolutely no interest in starting a blaze in our fireplaces! However, because they are not being used now may be the perfect time to have your chimney swept!

Summer is often considered the “low season” for chimney sweeps. This year, beat the fall rush by scheduling your chimney sweeping during the summer! By scheduling your chimney sweeping appointment now you can be sure your chimney and fireplace are ready to go once fall arrives in a few months.

The importance of yearly chimney maintenance

Regular yearly maintenance is one of the best ways to extend the life of your chimney and ensure your fireplace burns safely year after year. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that homeowners have their chimneys swept and inspected at least once per year.

During a chimney sweeping, a CSIA certified chimney sweep will use brushes, brooms, and other tools to remove ash, soot, and creosote from the flue. Doing this can help your fireplace burn and vent more efficiently as well as reduce the risk of chimney fire. A chimney inspection may be performed at the same time; during a chimney inspection, the accessible portions of the exterior and interior of the chimney will be checked for signs of damage or deterioration.

Why schedule your chimney sweeping this summer

While it may seem like an odd time of year to have a chimney sweeping done, there are a number of benefits to summer chimney maintenance. Below are four reasons to schedule your chimney sweeping appointment now!

  1. Get an appointment that fits your schedule. In today’s hustle and bustle world, it can be hard getting service appointments that fit into your schedule. However, since this is our low season, it is easier than ever to schedule an appointment time that is convenient for you!
  2. Less waiting before services. Whether you’re waiting for a routine sweeping or are having an emergency repair done, there are often fewer waits before services during the summer. This is especially important if you are waiting to have certain masonry repairs, such as leak resolution, done.
  3. No waiting to use your chimney. If you wait to have your chimney swept until you’re ready to use it, you might find that it’s not ready when you are. Because so few homeowners use their fireplaces during the summer it makes it the perfect time to have repairs and maintenance done – your chimney gets cleaned and you don’t have to wait to use it!
  4. Think ahead and be ready for fall. Instead of waiting for fall to arrive before thinking about chimney maintenance, be proactive and get it done ahead of schedule. This will allow you to use your fireplace as soon as the first cold snap arrives – no waiting required.

Don’t wait until temperatures cool down to think about having your chimney swept. Instead, schedule your chimney sweeping appointment now to beat the rush and be ready for fall! Contact Pristine Sweeps today to set up your next appointment!