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Stay Safe This Holiday Season with These 5 Fireplace Tips

Holiday Fireplace Safety Suggestions Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney Specialties The holiday season is one of the busiest and happiest times of the year. One of the most popular holiday activities is sitting around the fireplace with your family and friends. The fireplace is a great place for catching up with guests and celebrating the holidays, so you want to be sure this area is prepared. Safety should be on the top of the list of things to do when you are getting ready for the holidays. According to HouseLogic, the US Fire Administration has reported that more residential fires occur on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day than any other day of the year, and, even more serious, the number of fatalities and the amount of property damage from holiday fires increases as well. Aelite Chimney Specialties wants our customers to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season, so we would like to share these five fireplace safety tips.

Schedule a professional chimney sweeping and inspection.

To be sure your chimney and fireplace system is safe to use, you should get a professional opinion by scheduling your annual chimney sweeping and inspection before the holiday season begins. Aelite Chimney Specialties provides this maintenance service from our chimney sweeps who have been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), so you can trust us to do the best job.

Be careful of what you put on your mantel.

Although it is traditional to hang Christmas stockings from the mantel, this is a fire hazard whenever the fireplace is in use. Of course, you can always remove the stockings when you light a fire, but it can be less of a hassle to find another spot to hang them, especially if you use your fireplace frequently. You should also keep decorations made from combustible materials, such as greenery and ribbons, off the mantel to avoid an accidental fire.

Choose your Christmas tree location wisely.

One of the most common causes of holiday fires has to do with Christmas trees. You should make sure your tree is placed at least three feet away from your fireplace and other heating appliances. Live trees can be so flammable that they can engulf an entire room in flames in just 30 seconds.

Check your holiday lights before putting them on the tree.

Another reason why Christmas trees cause so many fires involves the decorative lights. Check each strand of lights to be sure there are no broken sockets or frayed wires. If you find a damaged string of lights, you should replace it. Also, be careful of overloading your lights. Never run more than three strands of lights together from end to end.

Only burn seasoned firewood in your fireplace.

Never burn wrapping paper in your fireplace. Although it may seem easier to toss used paper into the fireplace instead of the trash, the dye on wrapping paper can cause flash fires that can become large and out of control very quickly.

Aelite Chimney Specialties wishes you and your family a happy and safe holiday season. Contact us for all of your fireplace and chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs.

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Why an Annual Chimney Inspection Is Necessary

Annual Chimney Inspection Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney SpecialtiesHaving a fireplace comes with some important responsibilities to ensure your home is free from dangerous safety hazards. Not only do you have the obvious risks involved with fire to think about, but you must also consider the potential problems that could be hiding inside the chimney. Before you light your first fire of the year, national fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend that you have your chimney professionally inspected and swept. These annual professional chimney maintenance services are necessary to make sure your fireplace and chimney system will work safely, efficiently, and effectively all winter long. Aelite Chimney Specialties is proud to offer these services to the residents of the Chicago area from our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps who have years of experience and training in inspecting and sweeping chimneys. You can trust us to make sure your fireplace and chimney do not pose any safety hazards. To help you understand the importance of an annual chimney inspection, we would like to tell you a bit more about the hazards that can occur from damage to your chimney.

Chimney Fires

One of the most important reasons why you need your chimney professionally swept and inspected at least once a year is to remove all of the creosote deposits from the inside of your chimney. When you burn wood, creosote develops naturally during the condensation process that occurs as the byproducts of combustion exit out of the cooler walls of the upper chimney. This residue sticks to the inner walls of the chimney and can accumulate into large deposits, which create an increased risk for chimney fires. If the internal temperature of your chimney gets hot enough, those creosote deposits can quickly and easily ignite into flames. Creosote is so highly flammable that the CSIA has named it as a leading cause of chimney fires. After our chimney technicians sweep your chimney, Aelite Chimney Specialties will inspect the inner walls to be sure all of the creosote deposits have been removed. If we find stubborn creosote accumulations, we will recommend a more thorough mechanical cleaning that will be sure to get all the creosote deposits out of your chimney to reduce your risk of a chimney fire.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

When Aelite Chimney Specialties inspects chimneys, we take great care to examine every component to look for any damage that could allow toxic combustion gases like carbon monoxide to leak into your home. One of the most common causes of these leaks is a damaged chimney liner. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians will be looking for any cracks or gaps in the chimney liner where these gases can escape into your home. We also check for flue blockages that could force carbon monoxide back into your living space. If we find a blockage, we will remove the debris from the flue to open it up to allow poisonous combustion gases to be exhausted through the chimney.

Our experienced chimney sweeps will also inspect the exterior of your chimney to look for damaged bricks and mortar that can be prime spots for water leaks. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for this essential annual chimney maintenance service. We can get your chimney ready now before cold weather arrives to the Chicago area.

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Why Hiring a CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep Is Important

Your chimney and fireplace system need regular maintenance in order to work efficiently and safely, and to be sure these maintenance services are done correctly, it is important to hire a chimney sweep who has been trained and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Without this certification, a chimney sweep may not clean and inspect your chimney correctly, which means your chimney could still have hidden hazards after it has been swept and inspected. Aelite Chimney Specialties only hires CSIA-certified chimney sweeps because we know how important this certification is. We would like to tell you more about CSIA certification and why it is so essential for the best professional chimney services.

How does a chimney sweep get certified by the CSIA?Importance of CSIA Certification Image - Chicago IL - Aelite Chimney Specialites

The non-profit organization provides training sessions at its headquarters, the CSIA Technology Center in Indiana, as well as at various locations across the country. Chimney sweeps can also take these sessions online. At the end of the training sessions, the sweep must pass two exams based on the texts used in training. After successful completion of these exams, the sweep must pay his annual fees and sign the CSIA Code of Ethics.

What is covered in the training sessions?

Chimney sweeps learn how to maintain and repair chimneys attached to all types of fuel-burning appliances and how to install and service these heating appliances. They also are taught about the different codes and standards for chimneys from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Residential Codes (IRC). Chimney sweeps will learn how to repair common chimney performance problems, including improving chimney draft. Safety practices are also reinforced during this training.

What does the CSIA Code of Ethics include?

When chimney sweeps sign this code, they promise to follow all chimney and venting safety practices and techniques recommended by the CSIA as well as to continue their education by keeping up with the latest chimney industry technology. You can trust a CSIA-certified chimney sweep to comply with all applicable building and fire safety codes as well as to treat you honestly and fairly as a customer. These sweeps promise to never engage in deceptive business practices. The CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Aelite Chimney Specialties will always be truthful with you about the condition of your chimney and the repairs it needs to work safely.

Aelite Chimney Specialties is proud to offer chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services to the Chicago area. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps today.

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