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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.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Stay Safe This Holiday Season with These 5 Fireplace Tips

All About Chimney Fires

All About Chimney Fires - Lakemoor IL - Aelite ChimneyAn event that can damage structures, devastate a home, and injure or kill people, a chimney fire most often is the result of a dirty and neglected chimney. As the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) frankly states, “clean chimneys don’t catch fire.” While some chimney fires will make you aware of their presence, other chimney fires can be slow-burning and not as dramatic or even visible. Aelite Chimney Specialties would like to tell you more about chimney fires and their signs as well as what you should do if you believe your chimney has experienced a fire. A chimney that has been damaged by a chimney fire can endanger you, your family, and your home, which is why we feel it is so important to inform you of this hazard.

What are the indications of a chimney fire?

If you hear loud cracking with popping noises, see a lot of dense smoke, and smell an intense, hot odor, you are most likely experiencing a chimney fire. These can be dramatic and explosive so that you may seem flames shooting from your chimney. We have also heard customers say they heard a low, rumbling sound like a low-flying airplane. However, some chimney fires burn so slowly that they do not get enough air or fuel to become noticeable. This type of chimney fire can cause just as much damage as a visible fire because of the high temperatures it can reach.

What are the signs of a slow-burning chimney fire?

Whenever Aelite Chimney Specialties inspects a chimney, we look for nine specific signs of a chimney fire, as specified by the CSIA:

  • Warped metal of chimney components, such as the damper and connector pipes
  • Cracked, collapsed, and missing flue tiles
  • Discolored or distorted chimney cap
  • “Puffy” creosote
  • Heat-damaged TV antenna attached to chimney
  • Flakes and pieces of creosote on the roof or ground
  • Damaged roofing material
  • Cracks in the exterior bricks and mortar
  • Evidence of smoke passing through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners

What do I do if I think I have experienced a chimney fire?

If you have heard rumbling and popping noises and have smelled a burning smoke odor, contact Aelite Chimney Specialties as soon as possible. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps can inspect and evaluate your chimney to look for signs of a chimney fire. If we find evidence of a chimney fire, we will make recommendations on how to bring your fireplace and chimney system back into compliance with safety standards. Every chimney fire situation is unique, but you could need a few flue liner tiles replaced, a new liner installed, or your complete chimney system rebuilt. We use safety as the number one priority when making these recommendations.

Do you think you have had a chimney fire in your home? Contact Aelite Chimney Specialties to schedule an appointment for an inspection today.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , | Comments Off on All About Chimney Fires

Prevent and Prepare

Fire Preparedness in the Home

Did you know that you are four times more likely to die in a fire at home if there is no smoke alarm? Do you understand the risks to yourself and your family when you don’t have any basic fire safety and prevention measures? People often underestimate the devastation a  house fire. Don’t be complacent and take for granted the safety and security of your home. Lets start preparing now.

The Cause

There are a number of reasons why a fire may start in the home. It might be from short-circuiting wires, tangled wires, overcharging equipment and also unseen defects in your chimney and chimney parts. We at Aelite Chimney Specialties would always recommend an annual check-up and cleaning of your fireplace and chimney so that rest-assured this is no longer a probable cause of fire in the home and it will also give you a fully-functional, long-lasting chimney.

The Tips

There are simple steps you can take to help prevent house fires. But, if a fire breaks out, you need a plan.

There are simple steps you can take to help prevent house fires. But, if a fire breaks out, you need a plan.

There are four very important things to remember, learn and put to action to prepare you and your family for the worst. Here are some very useful tips to prevent fires from happening.

First, having a fire escape plan is the most important thing to have. This will help you and your family knows where to go and how to go to designated areas when there is actual fire. This will also become your guide to clear pathways and change any necessary arrangements for an easier and smooth transition to the outside. This plan should be role played at least once a month to always prepare the people living with you. Note that there should be a particular place outside your home where all of you can meet up.

Also, it’s always good to have smoke detectors and smoke alarms in the home especially in rooms with the exception of the bathroom and the kitchen (the hot and cold shower and when you are cooking). These smoke alarms should be checked every three months to see if the batteries are still operating well. Always make sure that the alarm is loud enough to be heard throughout the entire house.

A well-placed and visible fire extinguisher that can be accessed easily should always be inside the house as well. This will help lower the chances for the fire to spread and you might actually use it to burn down the fire entirely.

Lastly, make sure that no flammable materials are, in any way, near any fire hazard. This will make it difficult for the fire to spread right away and this will also give you enough time to go out without inhaling any smoke.

These are all very important tips that will serve as a guide for whenever an unexpected circumstance might come your way. It’s never easy to get out of a fire, that’s why it’s always best to be prepared.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , | Comments Off on Prevent and Prepare