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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!

Reasons To Hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep

When it comes to chimney and fireplace maintenance, who you hire matters. While anyone with a broom and a truck can call themselves a chimney sweep, few are true professionals who earn Reasons To Hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep  IMG- Ann Arbor MI- Clean Sweeps of Michigan-w800-h597certifications from the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

Homeowners should only trust CSIA certified chimney sweeps to care for their fireplace systems. These highly trained and knowledgeable professionals are true experts who will be able to provide the best possible service for your chimney.

What is the CSIA certification?

The Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving fireplace and chimney safety through education, training, and certifications. Considered as the top professional organization in the chimney field, a CSIA certification is a prestigious title that fewer than 1200 chimney sweeps in the United States can claim.

In order to earn a CSIA certification, sweeps must undergo years of study, training, and testing. This rigorous certification process ensures that certified sweeps are the top industry professionals and are knowledgeable about a variety of chimney issues and topics including:

  • Best safety practices and techniques for cleaning fireplaces and chimneys
  • Both national and local current building codes and standards
  • Basics of fireplace draft dynamics and construction
  • Heating appliance installation for gas, wood, pellets, and other fuel sources
  • Current EPA emissions standards for heating appliances

A CSIA certification is not a one-time accreditation; in order to maintain their certifications, sweeps must take continuing education courses as well as pass a recertification test every three years. This ensures that CSIA certified sweeps are always up to date and knowledgeable about currents standards, advancements, and best practices in the fireplace industry.

Finding a certified chimney sweep

The CSIA certification is more than just an expansive knowledge base; it also represents a professional code of ethics that is taken very seriously. In the Code of Ethics, certified sweeps pledge “To render my services in an honest and fair manner and to refrain from engaging in unfair or deceptive practices.” Because of this, homeowners can rest assured that they are working with a true professional with their best interests at heart, not a fly by night operator looking to make a quick buck.

While the CSIA provides a database to help homeowners located their nearest certified professional, it is important to find out more information about a business before hiring them to care for your chimney. The following questions can help ensure you’re hiring the best company and chimney sweep possible.

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Can you provide references from current customers?
  • Does the company or the individual chimney sweep carry liability insurance in the event of an accident?
  • Can you guarantee that a CSIA certified chimney sweep will work on my fireplace system?

Who you hire to take care of your chimney system matters. This year, make sure you work with a true fireplace professional by hiring a CSIA certified chimney sweep. To schedule you next chimney sweeping appointment, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

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