Nonprofit urges homeowners to get their heat appliance and chimney inspected this Autumn
PLAINFIELD, INDIANA (September 2014) -- Last year’s historically cold winter has many homeowners considering alternative heating sources this season, such as their fireplaces. But don’t strike the first match until you’ve hired a qualified chimney sweep trained by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. CSIA certified professionals can inspect your chimney and get it ready for Polar Vortex II or whatever else Mother Nature throws at us.
As part of National Chimney Safety Week, Sept. 28-Oct. 4, CSIA advises those with fireplaces, wood stoves and solid fuel appliances to get an annual inspection, particularly if you are uncertain about the chimney’s condition prior to use.
The inspection by a CSIA certified chimney sweep can identify any potential hazards inside the flue that need addressing, such as hidden cracks, creosote buildup, or venting problems that might lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or your chimney being unable to contain the products of combustion. Unwanted chimney fires declined each year from 2009 to 2011, but still average 24,300 annually, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“Chimneys warm the hearth and heart. So don’t give them the cold shoulder when it comes to maintenance,” said Ashley Eldridge, director of education for CSIA.
Almost 1,500 chimney sweeps can be found using CSIA’s free zip-code locator at csia.org/search. CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps can also detect evidence of freeze-thaw damage and ensure that the exterior of the chimney is functioning properly for optimal efficiency.
CSIA recommends that homeowners follow other safe practices to protect your family: burn only seasoned wood to maximize heat value; have a protective barrier to keep curious children from touching flames or hot glass; never leave a fire unattended; call 911 and get everyone out of the house if trouble arises. Remember to have an operable smoke detector and up to two ABC type fire extinguishers on hand. Orion Safety Products, which co-sponsored this nationwide news release, also recommends Chimfex Chimney Fire Extinguisher, which has gained CSIA Accepted Product status. See more at chimfex.us or http://www.csia.org/homeowner-resources/chimfex_fire_suppressant.aspx.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America is a non-profit, educational organization created in 1983 that is dedicated to chimney and venting system safety. Go to csia.org/search to find a venting professional.