Our Company Blog

National Fire Prevention Week Oct 8-14

In Seattle we have typically mild weather with consistent rainfall year-round, but fall is in the air! It is time to fire up the stove or fireplace, and you don’t want to do that until you’re sure it’s ready to go. October is the first real month that fires are burning for warmth, it’s the start of the busy season for chimney sweeps, and National Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14!

National Fire Prevention Week Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsThe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a campaign every October dedicated to bringing down the number of fires in the US. According to the US Fire Administration there was nearly 1.3 million reported fires in 2014, resulting in 3,275 deaths, 16,000 injuries, and $11.6 billion in property loss. These numbers are still too high, despite decreasing each year. It’s our hope at Pristine Sweeps, that we can help families to be safer from fires each and every winter.

Preventative Measures

You can help prevent fires in your home by maintaining your chimney system properly. Always hire a professional to install, repair, or service components to your system. Keep your chimney system clean and functional by scheduling routine chimney sweeps. Catch problems before they start by having a certified chimney sweep complete a CSIA inspection annually, and have your dryer vent cleaned annually to prevent dryer vent fires.

Other things you can do to prevent fire or injury due to fire is:

  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, and make sure to check batteries monthly.
  • Practice fire safety and teach your children that the fire is dangerous.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Never cook with a stove-top or oven, burn a fire, or run the dryer overnight.
  • Make a fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room if possible.
  • Never close the damper while the fire is burning.
  • Only burn properly seasoned wood in your fireplace, stove, or insert. Burning other items can result in fire and excess creosote and smoke.
  • Only purchase quality products that adhere to federal and local regulations for safety.

Some Fires Are Not Preventable

There can be faulty wires that homeowners aren’t aware of. Also, there can be malfunctions in appliances, and wildfires can even ignite your home. There are many disasters that can result in fires, but you can be prepared for the worst. Join us during National Fire Prevention Week and tell your family, your neighbors, and your friends about the dangers of fire. Share the resources at www.firepreventionweek.org, and make it a family affair! You may not be able to prevent fires completely, but you can prevent further injury and even death by being prepared.

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