Month: January 2017

Accepted Products for Home Use

With so many different products out there claiming to do this or that for your fireplace or chimney, it’s nice to have a list of “Approved” items by the CSIA.

The cold has officially crept in and before you head out to your local hardware store for fireplace and chimney supplies we thought it was a good time to talk to you for a minute about the chimney & fireplace products accepted by CSIA for home use. But first, I think it’s important to mention that earning the “CSIA Accepted” is not a meaningless designation or a deceitful marketing ploy by companies who happened to have a few extra dollars lying around. In fact, we are extremely picky about who gets to use the CSIA logo on their product packaging. To earn this designation, a product must meet all three of the following requirements
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Preventive Maintenance: Chimneys

Your fireplace provides a safe place in your home to burn a nice cozy fire to keep you warm on the coldest nights. In order for your fireplace to keep you and your home safe, the chimney needs to be tended to. This article goes over some ways for you to keep an eye on your chimney so you can prove the TLC it needs before it’s too late.

Since your chimney is one of the major barriers to fire danger in your home (and consequently one of the primary sources of fire outbreaks), when a problem occurs chimney repair is of utmost importance. Here’s a short list of quick checks you can perform on your own or hire a professional to undertake in order to evaluate when chimney repairs are in order.
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Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Today!


Fireplace or not, each home ought to be furnished with a smoke and carbon monoxide identifier. These gadgets spare incalculable lives each year and frequently serve as the principal cautioning indication of threat inside the home. In the event that you have a gas fireplace, your danger of fire, smoke introduction, and carbon monoxide harming are expanded significantly! This is not something to put off – get these detectors introduced today!

On the off chance that you don’t have a smoke or carbon monoxide finder, then this is the ideal opportunity to buy one. The staff at Chimney Sweeps West can answer any inquiries you may have with respect to these gadgets, and we can even introduce them all through your home. As of now have some set up? Extraordinary! Simply make certain to test them in any event once per month, with the goal that you know your house is secured year round.

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The most effective method to Test Your Device

In the event that you are not certain how to test your smoke or carbon monoxide finder, then take after these rules. It’s simple and definitely justified even despite the little measure of time spent! Simply make sure to caution relatives already, so nobody will be concerned or alarmed at the sound of your gadget going off.

It is additionally a smart thought to disperse your family all through different spots of the home. Along these lines you can be sure your identifier will be heard in all rooms, if a genuine fire ever were to happen.

Now, all that’s left to do is run the test! Hold down the specified button on your device, and wait for a high-pitched noise to come out. If you hear it loud and clear, your smoke or carbon monoxide detector is working properly!

On the off chance that it doesn’t make commotion or if the clamor is not extremely noticeable, supplant the batteries and run the test once more. On the off chance that despite everything it doesn’t work, then another gadget all together.

Different Things To Remember

Other than testing your locators all the time, make certain to change the batteries like clockwork, paying little mind to their working status. This permits you to be certain beyond a shadow of a doubt your gadget is prepared to go at all circumstances.

On top of this, you ought to replace your smoke finders every 10 years, regardless of the possibility that they appear to be in satisfactory condition. This is the suggested life expectancy, as indicated by USFA benchmarks, and keeping gadgets longer than this may put your home and family at hazard.

At Chimney Sweeps West, we consider your wellbeing important. Our staff is CSIA affirmed and more than met all requirements to go up against any employment you require. Plan a review with us! We can guarantee your fireplace and chimney are in the most ideal shape, so you can utilize them with the significant serenity you merit.

A Fireplace Without a Chimney

Having a fireplace without a chimney? What a world we live in! However with this technology comes a new set of risks and ways to take care of them.

Ventless fireplaces are exactly what their name makes them out to be: natural gas or propane fired fireplaces that don’t require a chimney in order to run. For many homeowners this is exactly the product they’ve been looking before. Because vents or chimneys are unnecessary, vent free fireplaces are much cheaper to install than vented models, and can be placed in rooms where previous fireplaces simply weren’t an option, such as small dens and bedrooms.
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Tips for Cleaner Fireplace Burning, Safer Homes


An annual chimney inspection by a professional is definitely the first step to enjoying your fireplace safely, but there are other things you can do to keep your fireplace safer during fall and winter. If used recklessly, your fireplace can become the number one fire hazard in your home.

Don’t Burn Trash

You might think it’s okay to use your fireplace like a trash can in your living room, but you should never throw any trash into your fireplace. Plastics, wrapping paper, magazines and any paper printed on with colored ink is unsuitable to burn in your fireplace. These things can all give off toxic chemical while burning. To be safe, you should only ever burn logs in your fireplace. Avoid using old magazines to start your fire. Ideally, you should only use things like dry tree bark, corn cobs and pine cones for tinder.

Don’t Use Green Wood in Your Fireplace

Much like plastic and other trash, green wood isn’t appropriate for burning in your fireplace. Green wood gives off more smoke while burning. This causes soot and creosote to build up in your chimney much faster than if you were to use dried logs. If you want to reduce soot and creosote buildup even more, you should aim to use woods like birch, oak or hickory.

Start Your Fires Right

Starting a fire without gasoline, charcoal lighters and other highly flammable substances is more difficult. However, you’ll be willing to put in the extra effort once you realized how much safer it is. Never use highly flammable things to start fires in your fireplace. Not only do many of these things give off vapors that can explode, it’s also much easier to burn down your house in an accident. If you use a can of gasoline by your fireplace to light your fires with, the whole can could catch fire by accident and burn down your entire house. You might think it won’t happen, but accidents can happen more easily than you think. One wrong move with these substances will place you at great risk.

The safe way to start a fire is by using dried organic materials, like tree bark and sticks to light your fire. It takes longer, but you’ll significantly reduce the risk of burning down your house.

Keep the Area Around Your Fireplace Clear

If you’re using your fireplace on a regular basis, you should keep the area around it clear of anything flammable. Don’t keep your stack of wood right next to the fireplace, it should be at least a few feet from where the fire burns. Before you light a fire, you should check that there aren’t any children’s or dog toys, and that anything else that could potentially catch fire isn’t near the fireplace.

Another area you should keep clear of anything if you’re using your fireplace is the mantel. It’s okay to have decorations on the mantel when there isn’t a fire burning. But before you light a fire, you should always clear the mantel entirely. During the fall and winter, when you’re regularly using your fireplace, it’s best to temporarily move all your decorations to somewhere else in the house.

Always Open the Damper or Flue

Your chimney is meant to channel smoke and toxic gas from your fireplace so it will flow outside. To avoid lung problems and carbon monoxide poisoning, it should be open while there’s a burning fire.

Always open the damper before lighting a fire. To check that the damper is open, look up your chimney using a flashlight or mirror. Even once the fire has died, the damper should be kept open while the embers are still glowing. The damper can be closed only once everything has turned to ash and nothing appears to be glowing anymore.

Always Have a Fire Extinguisher on Hand

It doesn’t matter how safe you try to be while using your fireplace, having a fire extinguisher somewhere nearby is still essential if you want to practice good fire safety. Having a fire extinguisher could help you put out a small fire in no time. Remember, even fires that seem small can burn down your house. A big fire can start from a single spark. Always better to be safe than sorry.

Take Preventative Measures

Besides for having your fire extinguisher where you can easily reach it when there’s a fire, you should also make use of other safety measures available. Your fireplace should have a screen in front of it to keep you safe. Also have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed so you can spot potential danger as soon as possible. Remember to regularly change the batteries in your detectors and try to test them at least monthly.

Safety Around the Fire

The last safety measure is up to you. To be safe whiles there’s a fire burning, you have to see to it that you’re careful enough to avoid unnecessary hazards. When you have a fire burning, it’s good to leave a window only slightly open for air to escape. Never leave your fireplace unattended while it’s burning (This means you can’t go to bed, or run a quick errand if nobody will stay behind to take care of the fire.) Also remember to always clean out ashes before you light a new fire.

Fires can be very relaxing, but you should never forget that they can be equally, or even more dangerous than they are comforting. To safely use your fireplace, it’s recommended that you have your chimney inspected regularly by a professional chimney sweep registered with the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

Do you know how often you need to have your chimney cleaned? Check out our Knoxville Office!

Chimney Maintenance Keeps Your Family Safe

If you have a chimney you owe it to your family, and your home to get your chimney cleaned. Why you may ask, well this article from Home Advisor explains how getting your chimney cleaned will save you home.

If you own a fireplace, chimney maintenance is not optional. Deadly fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and expensive chimney repairs are only some of the more serious consequences associated with neglected chimney maintenance. Whether you need to know what you can expect with chimney cleaning and inspections or whether you need a more detailed explanation of these potential dangers, if you haven’t had your chimney cleaned in the past year, you need to know the following.
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Chimney Caps

You might wonder why your chimney has a cap, isn’t cap another word for lid? And how is a lid helping your chimney ventilate? Read this article to answer these and other simple questions.

A chimney cap serves many functions. A decent chimney or stove will have its own protection against some of these things, but they all still leave a gaping hole into your home that allows anything from bats and mice to rain and wind to get through. Rather than having a flue guard too low in your chimney, it of course makes sense to have a cap on top.
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