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Outdoor Kitchens — Pay Attention!

Enjoying Your Outdoor Kitchen

 Indoor kitchens, where there are distractions but little wind to blow out pilot lights and flames, can put you at risk for a house fire. It is easy to see how those perils are compounded by wind, debris and the relaxation of the outdoors. To truly enjoy your outdoor kitchen, you need to use it safely and maintain it in good condition. Some of this is solely on you, the homeowner and other parts of safe maintenance should be left to a certified professional.

Enjoying Outdoor Kitchen - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweep & Air Ducts of Michigan

Enjoying Outdoor Kitchen – Ann Arbor MI – Clean Sweep & Air Ducts of Michigan

Use It Safely

There is no enjoyment to be found in a gas line explosion or a fire in the yard. While outdoor kitchens reduce the chances of poisoning from gas without flames to consume it, they increase the likelihood of outdoor fires. Stove flames can more easily be blown out and fire-bearing sparks from built-in grills can ignite un-raked yards and newspaper stacks. Keep all flammable material well away from the heat source.

Most homeowners use their outdoor kitchens to entertain and relish the season. This of course, is the point. However, one side effect of all that enjoyment is that sometimes, we lose sight of the danger. Never leave an open flame unattended or with only children outdoors. Always make sure your outdoor kitchen is inspected annually by a certified professional.

Even conscientious outdoor cooks can fail to recognize the importance of periodic dis-assembly and inspection of built-in ovens and grills. With welded components, these fire boxes need the same attention as the one in your indoor system. If a second fireplace is also part of your outdoor kitchen, that system makes inspection all the more important.

Enjoy It Thoroughly

There is nothing unsafe about outdoor kitchens as long as they are properly constructed and kept clean, fully functional, and in mind. Like all other unintended fires, ones that start in outdoor kitchens actually start with carelessness. Regular inspection and maintenance ensure that your outdoor kitchen is ready to be safely used. Appreciating it fully means respecting the potential dangers it can pose and preventing them from ruining either the party or the yard.


When Animals Live in Your Chimney

Animals in Chimney

There is nothing cute or cuddly about animals in chimneys. Thankfully, the vast majority of homeowners realize that, even if they are not fully aware of the danger that animal intrusions pose to a fireplace system. Unfortunately, too many undertake the removal of animals from their chimneys themselves, placing themselves in harm’s way and often inadvertently causing more damage.

Removing Animals from your Chimney - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps

Removing Animals from your Chimney – Ann Arbor MI – Clean Sweeps

A Difficult and Dangerous Position to Be In

Extracting a live animal from a place like a chimney, where it is completely cornered and surrounded, is extremely difficult and dangerous. Removing a dead one, along with associated debris, droppings, and snagged tufts of fur, is difficult and altogether unpleasant. Both are difficult and both are hazardous for your chimney as well if you do not know what you are doing.

Animal extraction for chimneys should always be handled by certified chimney professionals. If the animal is alive, its humane handling is guaranteed and all involved are less likely to be injured. Homeowners worried about what happens after removal can relax as well, because animals not ready to be released back into the wild are first taken to vets or local shelters.

Concern for the animals in their chimneys is often the reason homeowners do not call for professional help. Certified chimney sweeps, however, are specifically skilled in this, have experience and love animals as much as you do! Furthermore, they are highly trained to examine the condition of your chimney once the animal has been removed, and this is critical.

Now the Animal is Gone, What Now?

The same claws that can scratch you up so badly may have done the same thing to the interior of your chimney. Even the animal’s movement and tight turns in such a small space could have damaged your flue. Extracting the animal – dead or alive – is first. After that, a professional sweep can inspect if any impairment was caused by the animal and what can be done to restore maximum safety and efficiency to your chimney.

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