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Zero In On Prevention

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Keep A Focus On Family Fire Safety

At Magic Sweep, our goal is to help our clients enjoy their home heating appliances while minimizing fire hazards in every way we can.

Annual chimney inspections and regular chimney sweeping — as well as having any necessary repairs taken care of as soon as possible — go a long way toward keeping your chimney functional and efficient, and limiting the chances of a chimney fire.

Many homeowners don’t realize that clogged dryer vents can pose a big fire hazard, too, so having those vents cleaned routinely by experienced Magic Sweep technicians adds another layer of protection.

But beyond doing all that we can to help you and your family avoid a fire hazard, we also want our valued clients to feel armed and prepared to do everything they can do to increase their fire safety.

Regular and thorough maintenance is your biggest preventative measure when it comes to fire safety.

Regular and thorough maintenance is your biggest preventative measure when it comes to fire safety.

Smart Fireplace, Stove Or Insert Practices

As chimney sweeps, we talk a lot about creosote, and how dangerous and flammable it is when it builds up in your flue. So it logically follows that practices that encourage creosote build-up will increase the probability of a fire hazard.

You can minimize creosote build-up and limit the chances of a fire hazard overall with some smart burning practices.

– Always use seasoned (dry) wood. Green, moist wood results in a cooler fire, more smoke and more creosote. And never burn trash – some materials can give off toxic fumes, and others can create a fire hazard.

– Never use any kind of flammable liquid (gasoline, lighter fluid or anything else) as a firestarter.

– Open your flue all the way when you light your fire, so that it doesn’t smolder.

– Don’t overfill your firebox — build a small fire that has the air and space to burn hotter and more completely.

– Make sure your fire is completely out before leaving it alone.

– When you’re cleaning out ash and coals, make sure to use a metal bucket, allow ample cooling time, and put ample distance between those materials and your home (at least 10 feet) when you dispose of them.

– Keep the area around the appliance clear of debris or any other flammable materials, including knick-knacks and holiday decorations.

– Make sure a properly sized and installed chimney cap is on your chimney! Chimney caps keep out nesting animals and debris that can block your flue and ignite.

– Have a spark screen installed to keep embers from sparking out of the firebox

– Make sure branches and twigs of nearby trees aren’t in the direct line of your flue opening.

Be Aware And Be Prepared, Too

Smoke alarms are a must in every home, on every floor and near every sleeping area. According to the National Safety Council, two thirds of deaths related to home fires happened in homes without functioning smoke alarms.

Carbon monoxide detectors are hugely important as well — since carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, and can be deadly, a working carbon monoxide detector could save your life in the event of a leak. It’s recommended that you check smoke and CO detectors monthly, and change batteries every year. If you have kids, make sure they know what the alarms sound like, and what they mean.

You should also make sure that you have a home escape route planned, that your entire family is aware of it, and that you’ve practiced getting out of the house from every floor.

If you have any questions about fire safety and your heating appliance, Magic Sweep is always here to help. Just give us a call!