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National Fire Prevention Week October 8-14

As fireplace professionals, the safety of our clients is one of our top priorities. At Clean Sweeps of Michigan, we are happy to help our friends and neighbors learn more about protecting themselves and their families during National Fire Prevention Week October 8-14, 2017.

Every Second Counts – Plan Two Ways Out

The theme of National Fire Prevention Week 2017 is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out.” What is the aim of this campaign? Helping families better prepare for what to do in case of a fire emergency in the home!

According to a recent survey by the NFPA, only one third of American families had developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Likewise, only 8% of respondents said their first thought on hearing a fire alarm would be “Get out!”

By creating – and practicing – a home fire escape plan, families can feel more confident that they can safely react in the event of an emergency. While these escape plans are important for all families to enact, they are especially important for those with young children. The sights, sounds, and smells of a house fire can be extremely scary and disorienting to children! Practicing the home fire escape plan at least twice a year can give children the confidence to escape on their own if necessary.

Practicing Fireplace Safety

Fireplaces are an excellent way to heat our homes and creating a warm and welcoming ambiance. However, they can be dangerous when not used or maintained properly. The following safety tips can help ensure you are using your fireplace safely and help prevent accidental fires.


  • Have the chimney swept at least once per year.
    The primary cause of heating equipment fires is failure to clean, including creosote buildup in chimneys. Having the chimney swept at least once per year ensures it is clean and free from blockages. Doing this significantly reduces the risk of house or chimney fire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
    Even small home fires should never be left unattended. This is especially important in homes with pets or small children. Glass doors or fireplace grates can also be used as a way to keep everyone safe from burns while still enjoying the fire.
  • Keep décor away from the fireplace.
    Carpets and other home furnishings should be kept at least three feet away from the fireplace while in use; this includes hanging mantle décor such as stockings during the holiday season. Keeping furnishings away from the fireplace protects them from burn and scorch marks. More importantly, it also reduces the risk of a stray spark or ember starting a fire.
  • Remove and store ashes properly.
    Coals surrounded by ash can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days. Because of this, it is important to properly remove and dispose of ashes. Remove and place ashes in a dedicated metal ash container; ashes should be stored away from combustible surfaces and materials. Additionally, they should never be mixed in with household trash or in dumpsters.

At Clean Sweeps of Michigan, our goal is to allow our customers to safely enjoy their fireplaces and other heating appliances all year long. For more information on National Fire Prevention Week or fireplace safety tips, contact us today!

Reduce Fire Hazards This Winter

Winter is the heaviest use period for fireplaces. This is because many homeowners use them for warmth and heat during these cold months. So, is your fireplace system is used more now than it is any other time of the year? Then this is the time for fireplace performance problems and other safety hazards to occur.

Reduce Fire Hazards This Winter Image - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MichiganThe following tips can help reduce your potential fire hazards:

  1.  Keep décor away from the fire. It may be tempting to curl up in a chair directly in front of a roaring fire. However, furniture, blankets, carpets, and other home furnishings should be kept at least three feet from the fireplace when in use. This prevents any stray sparks or embers from igniting any home décor while the fireplace is in use. A sturdy fireplace grate or glass doors can also prevent damage to furnishings or accidental house fires. Likewise, any hanging décor should be removed from the mantel before the fireplace is used.
  2. Properly dispose of ashes. How you extinguish a fire and what you do with the ashes can have a major impact on overall fireplace safety. First, fires should always be allowed to extinguish naturally. Using water to extinguish a fire indoors can send large amounts of smoke flooding into your home. In addition to damaging the masonry of the firebox.
  3. Call a chimney sweep. Have your chimney swept and inspected at least once per year! Its the best way to prevent chimney safety and performance problems. Chimney sweeps can help remove creosote, the flammable fireplace byproduct that is the leading cause of chimney fires. They also identify areas of damage that need to be repaired.

Also Keep In Mind…

How often you use your fireplace and the amount of wood you burn can determine if you need to have your fireplace swept more than once per season. According to the National Fire Protection Association, chimneys should be swept once per year or any time 1/8th of an inch of buildup occurs. For most fireplace system, this amount of buildup is caused by burning a full cord of wood. If you are using more wood than this during the winter, it may be best to have your chimney swept several times.

Taking the small steps to reduce fire hazards this winter can make the fireplace safer for the whole family. For more information on safe burning tips or to schedule your next chimney cleaning, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

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