Fireplace decor creates a magical look and there is something special about decking the halls and making everything glitter and glow. Please be careful when decorating your mantel. Make sure your decorations don't dangle below the mantel while burning a fire. If you are going to use candles, please ensure they are away from foliage that may catch fire quickly. Finally, keep a fire extinguisher nearby. While decorating the mantel and burning a fire is a holiday tradition please do so with careful decorating. Piccadilly Square Chimney Sweeps urges everyone to decorate and get in the Christmas spirit but to please decorate responsibly.
Why Should I Get My Chimney Inspected?
October 13, 2014
Dirty or damaged chimneys are one of the leading causes of house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were an estimated 365,000 house fires in 2012, which resulted in over 2,300 deaths, and cost $5.7 billion in damages.
How do chimneys create such risk of a house fire?
“Creosote, or ‘soot’, is unburned fuel that collects in the flu and chimney,” said Dennis Barnes, owner of Piccadilly Square Chimney Sweeps, which services Harford County, Baltimore County and locations around Maryland. “When excess creosote builds up in a chimney flu, it becomes highly combustible and can cause a fire that showers sparks onto the roof. It can create an extremely dangerous situation,” he added.
That should be enough for a homeowner to have the chimney inspected.
Another reason to get your chimney inspected before the bite of winter hits is because animals may have set up their homes in your chimney during the summer.
Raccoons are the most common animal to occupy chimneys because they can actually create a den and raise their kits in your chimney. But more often than not, the animals you’ll likely have problems with are squirrels and birds. Both animal mistake chimneys for holes in trees, but have no idea how far down that “hole” goes.
“Removing animals from chimneys is not a job for a homeowner because there are real dangers in doing so. Trying to ‘smoke them out’ introduces the risk of a nest catching fire, resulting in the potential for a house fire. Smoking animals out is not an option, as it is not a humane way to manage the situation,” Barnes added.
If you are like most people, you haven’t had your chimney cleaned or inspected in years.
NFPA recommends the following schedule for chimney inspections:
Fireplace and woodstove flues should be cleaned or inspected once a year or per cord of wood burned;
Pellet stoves should be cleaned once a year or per ton of pellets burned.
Oil Furnaces should be cleaned every 3 years, gas furnaces should be cleaned every 7 years. Oil and gas furnaces flues should be inspected annually for structural integrity.
Before winter hits and your fireplace starts getting good use, contact your local chimney sweep and get it inspected. If may be the most important thing you do to prevent a house fire.
When Should I Get My Chimney Cleaned?
September 19, 2014
Chimneys can be dirty things. They can be dangerous too.
One of the leading causes of house fires is a home’s chimney.
“Creosote, or ‘soot’, is unburned fuel that collects in the flu and chimney,” said Dennis Barnes, owner of Piccadilly Square Chimney Sweeps, which services Harford County, Baltimore County and locations around Maryland.
Damaging Storms in Maryland Have Chimney Sweeps Working Hard
July 16, 2013
Storms continue to batter Maryland, and wreak havoc on properties throughout the state. The storms strike fast and leave an aftermath of destruction. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, if you suspect chimney damage after a storm, you should have a Level 2 inspection. During a Level 2 inspection a professional chimney cleaner will have to access and assess the chimney from everywhere possible.
Do You Have Water In Your Chimney? You May Without Knowing It
June 12, 2013
Summer storms are blasting Maryland, dumping inches of rain onto homes throughout Harford County and the entire state. And, after enduring an extremely harsh winter, there may be some serious problems lurking in your chimney.
It’s that time of year when animals of all shapes and sizes are settling into new homes in Maryland, and that means chimneys are doing more than their intended jobs. Raccoons are the most common animal to occupy chimneys because they can actually create a den and raise their kits in your chimney. But more often than not, the animals you’ll likely have problems with are squirrels and birds. Both animal mistake chimneys for holes in trees, but have no idea how far down that “hole” goes. Inevitably they fall into the chimney and get stuck. And when an animal is stuck in a chimney they are panicked and scared.
So, what do you do when an animal turns part of your home into its den or has fallen into your chimney?
Allergies? Maybe It’s Your Air Ducts and HVAC System
April 21, 2013
After a brutal winter in, bulbs are starting to peek out of the ground and trees, grasses and plants are emerging from hibernation. What that means for the one-in–five Americans who suffer from allergies is clear: Time to cough sneeze, wheeze and drip. What many Americans don’t know is that indoor air pollution and allergens are as big a problem as outdoor air. The culprit in most homes is poor ventilation and dirty air ducts.
Oscar Party Literally on Fire in Maryland: How to Avoid Disaster of a House Fire
February 27, 2013
40.3 million people watched the Academy Awards in 2013. Aside from those at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles where the 2014 Oscars are being held, many Americans will be watching with friends at popular “Oscar Parties” throughout the country. That means food, drinks, games and a fire in the fireplace.
Most Americans have only one concern on their minds during college bowl game season – whether their teams will win or not. But, there’s a lurking concern far more serious than a losing a bowl game or eating bad guacamole, and that is the potential for a house fire.
Chimneys Are a Leading Cause of Thanksgiving Day Weekend House Fires
November 27, 2013
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were an estimated 365,000 house fires in 2012, which resulted in over 2,300 deaths, and cost $5.7 billion in damages. One of the leading causes of home fires is a home’s chimney. Don't let this happen to you!