Our Company Blog

National Chimney Safety Week is This Month

Fall is the best time to educate homeowners and the general public about chimney safety because winter is when most fires happen. It’s when you’re using your fireplace or furnace to heat your home that disaster can happen, especially when the chimney isn’t maintained properly. In order for our friends and neighbors in the Boston, North Shore, and Portland area to have safe and efficient fires this burn season, we offer services to keep the chimney working properly and lasting year after year. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is doing its part to make the public aware of chimney risk and safety by planning and promoting National Chimney Safety Week each year.National Chimney Safety Week

Safe Chimneys Mean Safe Communities

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and CSIA agree that the safest and most efficient chimneys are those that are cleaned regularly and inspected annually. When a chimney is clean, the air flows more easily, allowing smoke to vent properly. When this process works efficiently, there is less fire risk and less damage to the property and less frequent injuries and deaths due to fire. We believe that even one chimney fire is too many, and we offer comprehensive chimney services year-round to insure that chimneys in our communities are safer. When chimneys and fire appliances are safer, that means our communities are safer. Homeowners in New England count on Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep and have for over 30 years. With a company that puts safety first, makes education and certification a priority, and who offer the highest level of professionalism in the industry, it’s easy to choose Billy Sweet for safer chimneys.

Safer Chimneys Mean Fire Prevention

CSIA has scheduled National Chimney Safety Week for September 29th through October 5th—one week before NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week. Fire Prevention Week and National Chimney Safety Week go hand-in-hand. Fire Prevention Week, running October 6th through 12th is a time for communities to raise awareness about fire prevention and fire preparedness. Not all fires can be prevented, but a little bit of preparation can save lives in the event of a fire. Chimney Safety Week is all about preventing fires, and Fire Prevention Week is all about living through fires!

Fires can occur in more than just chimneys. You can experience an accidental fire in a dorm, hotel or motel, apartment, high-rise condo, manufactured homes, and more. The best way to protect your family and home is to use NFPA’s public education tip safety tip sheets available online. In addition to keeping the chimney, fireplace, furnace, and other heating systems like the dryer maintained properly, it’s important to take other important measures. Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Plan an escape and practice it monthly. Pay attention to problems with your heat systems and alarms. If you’re not sure that your chimney system is working properly, call in the professionals!

Call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep at 617-469-4528 or request an appointment online to service your chimney and make sure it’s as safe as possible.

The Value of a Chimney Inspection

When it comes to investing in your home and property, you want to do everything you can to protect those investments. Your chimney is one of the most beautiful features of your home. It most likely fits your personality as much as your home decor, so you want to keep it in good shape. Designed and constructed to withstand time, the only thing that can really hurt your chimney is neglect. Don’t neglect your chimney system, and it will continue working for you for years to come.

Routine Maintenance

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends routine maintenance for the safest and most efficient fire, and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) agrees. Routine maintenance such as chimney sweeps and annual inspections keep the chimney working properly, and that keeps it working safely. When you schedule routine maintenance, you are inviting a chimney expert into your home to see your chimney and assess it. When you choose Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep to sweep and inspect your chimney, you can rest assured knowing that all of your comprehensive chimney needs will be handled by one company. Our services are swift and thorough, and designed with you in mind. We offer chimney services year-round to give our customers the best opportunity to keep up with routine maintenance. Don’t start the winter without knowing your chimney is clean and safe for a fire.

Chimney Inspections

Annual CSIA inspections are the best way to protect your home and family from chimney malfunction and fire.

-Chimney Inspections Save You Money
When your chimney works properly, you will burn less wood, depending on your central heating system less, and use fewer utilities in the process. You will also spend less money on repairs, need less frequent sweeps, and avoid level two and three inspections.

-Chimney Inspections Protect Your Family
The chimney vents harmful gases from the home. Cracks in the flue liner, damaged masonry, or a rusted damper can cause smoke to affect the air in your home, causing carbon monoxide poisoning, the cause of more than 400 unintentional deaths per year.

-Chimney Inspections Prevent Fire
Chimney inspections identify hazards before they result in disaster. Damage is identified before it is serious and can be repaired before it causes a fire.

-Chimney Inspections Protect Your Legal Interests
A CSIA inspection is the one that realtors, fire inspectors, lawyers, and insurance claims officers will look for. Having an annual chimney inspection means your chimney is within municipal safety codes, is within guidelines of your homeowner’s insurance, and documentation of your inspection will be sufficient if it’s safety is called into question.

When it comes to scheduling routine maintenance, you do not want to skip the inspection. The chimney sweep may keep the system clean, but the inspection keeps it safe and functional. Don’t put your faith in a DIY internet tutorial, or the neighborhood handyman. When it comes to your family, your home, and your finances, put your trust in Boston’s chimney experts.

Call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep today at 800-248-4900 or make an appointment online now.

The Value of Obtaining a Work Permit

Want work done on your chimney? You can plan ahead if you have kept up with routine maintenance appointments. After an inspection, you should have gotten a report of necessary repairs that are needed before burn season. Plan ahead, and obtain a work permit from your municipal authorities. There are many reasons to obtain this permit, and it’s not just for the city.

Save Money

You can save money by following the correct steps for building and repairs in your community. You can avoid fees, as well as repairs in the future if you don’t adhere to regulations and hire a properly certified and licensed professional.

Protect Your Investment

Whether you are a first-time homeowner, property manager, or business owner, your holdings are investments. Any property that you own is a value, and any changes that you make should improve the property, thus increasing the value. If you fail to adhere to municipal codes and safety regulations it can actually decrease the value of your property, sometimes substantially.

Increased Safety

Municipal permits mean reduced potential hazards caused by unsafe construction and maintain a standard for public health and safety. Following code guidelines actually protects your contractor as much as it does your family and the neighborhood. Some cities that require mandatory inspections actually save you money, protect your investment, and keeps your family and home safe. This system of checks and balances doesn’t exist when doing things “under the table,” so all parties gain added protection through the permitting process.

Be a Responsible Homeowner

Part of being a responsible member of your community and your family means abiding by laws–all laws. If you’re a resident of a city, this means abiding by city ordinances as well as state and federal laws.

Your Insurance May Require It

Even if you’re making valid and drastic improvements to your home, by failing to obtain a permit, you may nullify portions of your homeowner’s insurance policy. This is a risk you might want to consider heavily. Work done in the summer can look different in the winter when your home and your safety depends on your chimney system working properly. It’s important to choose a professional and obtain the correct permits to get the work done and get it done right.

Choosing Billy Sweet

When you choose Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, you don’t merely get a general contractor or even certified chimney sweep. We are chimney experts, operating in New England since 1978, and maintaining certifications and memberships in the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the National Fireplace Institute, National Chimney Sweep Guild, and Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild. We pride ourselves on our experience and our goal is to put customer safety and comfort first. This is why we keep up with the safety regulations of the cities that we serve as well as the brands we install and the chimney industry itself.

To find out how Billy Sweet Chimney Sweeps can serve you, call 617-469-4528 or request an appointment online today.

Summer Maintenance for a Wood Stove

There is nothing like waiting until the last minute to get your wood-burning stove ready for winter. The scrambling around to find the card of last guy that came out and inspected and swept it; trying to remember if that was a year ago or two years ago?

Don't stress, plan - Boston MA - Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep

Don’t stress, plan – Boston MA – Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep

Seeing if the wood left over from last year is still okay to burn and discovering it has gotten wet and mildewed — so it has to be sorted and gone through and then re-stacked. When you’re done and get a good look at the usable wood you realize you need to purchase some additional stock to get you through the winter. You call “your guy” only to find out that he only has green wood left but he will sell it to you for a good price. You tell him thanks but no thanks and call your family and friends for wood references.

After a weekend trying to find good seasoned wood for your stove you settle for the green stuff your guys has left over. Every chimney guy is booked out two to three weeks in advance and the family is wondering why the stove is not burning, but you really don’t want to start a fire yet because you just remembered you were have some kind of problem last year and probably need an inspection.

A month later, you are just now able to get a certified sweep to your house and you have had to spend money and time — neither of which you have — just to get the heat going. At this point you ask yourself; what could I have done differently? The answer is to get your wood stove ready for winter in the summer and here’s why;

  • Chimney companies are traditionally slow in the summer and you will have cart blanch service.
  • If your unit needs repairs, this is the time you are not counting on it for heat so it’s the best time for an inspection and needed maintenance and repairs.
  • Check on your left over firewood and make sure it is stacked off the ground in a covered area or with a tarp covering the top, but not the sides.
  • Purchase your firewood in the early summer so you have plenty of time to season for at least six months.

Summer REALLY IS the perfect time to be thinking about maintaining your wood stove.