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

Make Sure Your Fireplace is Ready for the Winter

Fireplace Ready for Winter Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsYou might have spent the spring and summer cutting and hauling firewood to prepare for winter, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready! If you haven’t taken the necessary steps to make sure your fireplace and chimney are ready for winter, you still have time. You not only need proper fuel, but you also need to have a clean, efficient, and safe chimney and fireplace.

What You Can Do

  • Start by learning how the chimney works, and you can easily troubleshoot when your chimney is just not working for you.
  • Learn about fire safety and avoid injuries and increased risk of flue fire this winter.
  • Hire a professional to install your stove, fireplace, or appliance. This insures it’s not only correctly connected, but the capacity matches that of the chimney flue and will work properly when you’re ready to light it.
  • Schedule maintenance appointments with a professional, including your chimney sweep and inspection.

What We Can Do

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend regular chimney sweeps and annual inspections for safe and efficient operation of chimneys, regardless of fuel type. When you hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) for your chimney service appointments, you put your trust in the industry’s best, most trained, and experienced professionals.

  • Sweep Your Chimney—Let our CSIA certified technicians clean your chimney in a professional and timely manner. We offer chimney sweep services as well as glazed creosote removal to keep your chimney operating at its best. When you choose Pristine Sweeps you can expect expert service every time. Schedule now and we’ll have your chimney clean and ready for burn season.
  • Inspect Your Chimney—As important as it is to keep your chimney cleaned on a regular basis, it is just as important to have it inspected. During an inspection our expert chimney sweeps will assess your chimney completely. We offer video scan inspections and a detailed report for your records, and if we find a problem we are prompt with a repair plan.
  • Repair Your Chimney and Fireplace—By scheduling now you can be sure necessary repairs or services are completed before winter.
  • Waterproof Your Chimney—It’s no secret that Seattle experiences a significant amount of rain. Be sure your chimney is waterproofed before winter and avoid devastating water damage.

A lot goes into a functional chimney system, and Pristine Sweeps puts customer safety above all else. We hold knowledge and education as top priorities, and not only want your business, but we strive to use our expertise to educate you to keep your home and family safe and warm this winter. Start by having a winter-ready fireplace.

Call 206-574-8414 or request an appointment online.