Avoid Chimney Sweep Accidents- Get a Professional Now
Chimneys are not only necessary for survival in the winter but can make a nice center of attraction in your home. Keeping your chimney clean throughout the year can prevent fires and other bad possibilities so selecting a reliable chimney contractor is a big decision to make. Chicagoland Fireplace offers chimney cleaning and restoration services all over Chcagoland. Accessoreis such as chimney covers and decorative logs are also available at affordable prices.
The height involved in cleaning a chimney is definitely one of the reasons it is a job for the professionals. Sadly though, sometimes, even those who are in the field meet unforeseen occurrences. There is the sad story of our double time hero-William Rary. The 46 year old is a lieutenant with the Chesepeake Fire Department and works as a part time chimney sweep. He has been a member of the fire department for 16 years. On the day of the tragedy, William was working off duty as a chimney sweep. He was found unconscious at the base of a ladder and pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A lieutenant with the Chesapeake Fire Department died in a tragic accident Wednesday.
William Rary, 46, was identified by police as the man who died after Wednesday’s accident. Chesapeake Fire Department confirmed that Rary was a lieutenant with the department.
Rary died after he fell working his off-duty, part-time job as a chimney sweep.
Officers responded to a home in the 500 block of Glenwood Drive at 2 p.m. to find Rary lying unconscious at the base of a ladder.
Rary was taken to Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Chesapeake Fire says Rary was hired in 2000, and was promoted to lieutenant in September of 2012. Rary leaves behind two children.
Rary worked out of Station 3 on Rokeby Avenue in Chesapeake. On Thursday, his colleagues had set out his gear right by the station’s front door.
Fire Department Spokesperson Chief S.J. Gulisano said in a statement, “During his 16 years as a member of our Department, Bill earned respect from both his peers and his supervisors as the consummate Firefighter and Company Officer.”
The lesson we get from this tragedy is simple: you can never be too safe. For those who as aspring chimney sweeps, the job isn’t as easy as you may think. To make sure you are a credited chimney sweep, the following steps need to be taken:
First seen on (http://chim-chimneyinc.com/how-to-become-a-chimney-sweep-2/)
Have you ever thought of becoming a chimney sweep? An excellent place to start is The Chimney Safety Institute of America. This organization offers four annual sessions of the National Chimney Sweep Training School – the most comprehensive chimney sweep training program in the U.S. – and can help launch you into a chimney sweeping career.
CSIA’s National Chimney Sweep Training School teaches sweeping and inspection of different chimney systems, operation of the necessary equipment, health and safety considerations, and much more. It offers step-by-step instruction in the codes, clearances, standards and practices of the chimney service trade.
The course is an in-depth, 6-day training program for chimney service company owners and their employees, combining classroom training with hands-on experience both at the CSIA Technology Center Lab and in real homes with real customers. During the six-day course, attendees learn:
- How to inspect and service chimney systems serving fuel-burning appliances, including wood stoves, pellet stoves, inserts, factory-built fireplaces, central heaters, and furnaces
- The basics of chimney performance, including draft and flow, down drafts, flow reversals, inadequate flow, stack effects, updrafts, pressure effects and gauges
- National Fire Protection Agency standards
- Health and safety equipment and methods
It is also very important to put into consideration that homeowners must also be aware on when and how their chimney need to repair. If their are circumstances that you think you’re chimney is not working properly, it is better to consult or call a chimney repair professionals to check and clean your fireplace. Beyond safety, it is also advice to properly maintain your chimneys.
Most folks consider their fireplaces and chimneys to be indestructible parts of their home that require little or no maintenance. While masonry work is generally as close to maintenance-free as you can get, fireplaces and chimneys are more than just works of masonry: they are a part of your home’s heating system, which must effectively exhaust fumes from your fireplace, furnace and water heater.
Beyond the safety issue, neglect of chimneys leads to very expensive major repairs that would not be necessary if the chimney were properly maintained.
The three most serious problems that result from poorly maintained chimneys are:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Chimney fires
- Premature failure of the fireplace and chimney
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning claims about 4,000 lives a year in the U.S., and a significant number of these deaths are the result of poorly maintained chimneys. In addition, about 10,000people are made ill by lower levels of exposure to carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is a by-product of combustion. The less complete the burning (combustion), the more carbon monoxide is generated. Gas hot water heaters, gas and oil furnaces, fireplaces, and wood stoves all generate carbon monoxide.
One of the reasons carbon monoxide is so deadly is that you generally can’t see or smell it: rarely do its victims have any warning. Low levels of poisoning tend to cause flu-like symptoms, so that people think they are just catching a cold. More advanced poisoning can cause vomiting and headaches and even death. Carbon monoxide is deadly because it tricks the body into thinking it is oxygen. The body actually prefers carbon monoxide, choosing it over oxygen when both are present in the atmosphere.
Another major threat posed by inadequate maintenance is chimney fires. As fires burn, they generate smoke. As the smoke rises up the chimney, it comes into contact with the relatively cooler interior of the chimney (the flue), where some of the smoke condenses, like steam on a glass of cold water. The resulting condensed smoke is called creosote. Creosote is a black or brown gummy substance that builds up on the flue. Once a sufficient amount of creosote builds up, it can catch fire. The resulting chimney fire can range from being barely noticeable to being so dramatic that it sounds like a low flying jet.
The danger in chimney fires comes from the extremely high temperatures generated, which can severely damage the mortar in the chimney and even ignite nearby burnable surfaces. The first fire in a chimney may not even be noticed or, if noticed, may instill a false confidence in the owner (noticing that they had one chimney fire and seeing no harm done, they conclude that the hazard doesn’t apply to their circumstances).
In many cases, the first chimney fire can cause cracks and loosen mortar joints that then provide the next fire with an avenue to reach the roof timbers and other combustible materials.
A third major danger from poorly maintained chimneys is failure of the basic structure itself. As discussed above, chimney fires can damage the mortar joints and cause cracks that crumble further with continued “small” chimney fires.
Even before the second chimney fire has the opportunity to penetrate the cracks caused by the first, carbon monoxide can escape the chimney and leak into the living quarters of the home. Brain damage and death can occur before anyone has even noticed a problem.
As frightening and fierce as the potential fireplace and chimney hazards are, they are almost entirely preventable. The Chimney Safety Institute recommends that homeowners who light fires in their fireplaces three or more times a week during the heating season should have their chimneys inspected and cleaned once a year.
If unseasoned wood is burned in the fireplace, twice-a-year cleaning and inspection may be necessary, because unseasoned wood usually burns at a lower temperature than seasoned wood, causing more smoke and therefore more creosote.
Some people assume that because they don’t have fires continuously during the winter, they don’t have to worry too much about creosote buildup. This may be far from the truth. The colder the flue, the greater the condensation, so creosote buildup is the greatest at the beginning of a fire, in the time before the flue has fully heated up.
Selecting the right chimney sweep is one way to keep your family safe from accidents. Contact Chicagoland Fireplace and Restoration Co. for a free quote and enjoy working with our professionals who prioritize you and your family’s safety.