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Carbon Monoxide FAQ

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. It is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it is impossible to detect without specialized equipment such as carbon monoxide detectors.

Carbon monoxide gas is naturally created as a byproduct of combustion in all fuel-burning fires. Wood, gas, kerosene, propane, and coal are just a few of the fuel sources that create carbon monoxide gas when burned. Carbon Monoxide FAQ - Memphis TN - Coopertown Services

What is carbon monoxide poisoning?

While carbon monoxide poisoning is rare, it can be fatal; because of this, all homeowners should understand the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. In the United States alone, more than 400 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide gas is poisonous and extremely hazardous to your health. With low levels of exposure to the gas, carbon monoxide poisoning often mimics flu-like symptoms including headache, nausea, and drowsiness. With continued exposure, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause impaired coordination, vision, and cognitive functioning. In high concentrations, exposure to carbon monoxide gas can lead to coma and even death.

If you believe you are suffering the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, it is important to move to a fresh air location such as outdoors or near an open window as soon as possible. Emergency services should then be called.

How can I prevent carbon monoxide leaks?

Homeowners shouldn’t stop using their fireplaces, furnaces, or other fuel-burning appliances in fear of carbon monoxide poisoning. Instead, there are a number of easy and common sense ways to prevent carbon monoxide leaks.

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors.
    Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every floor of your home, especially near fuel-burning appliances and outside of sleeping areas. In addition to testing the detectors every 6 months to ensure they are still working, homeowners should have them replaced every 7-10 years; this ensures the carbon monoxide detectors are up to date with current technology and safety standards.
  • Have fireplaces and stoves swept and inspected.
    Regular maintenance such as chimney sweepings and inspections should be conducted at least once per year. This ensures that your heating appliance is free from damage or deterioration that could cause a carbon monoxide leak.
  • Never allow cars to idle in garages, even when the door is open.
  • Move grills away from open windows and doors.
  • Replace vent-free space heaters with vented models when possible.
    If using a vent-free fireplace or space heater, crack a window in the room.
  • Do not run generators in enclosed spaces such as garages or basements.

Use your fireplace with increased peace of mind this winter by having it swept and inspected to help prevent carbon monoxide leaks. For more information on preventing carbon monoxide leaks or to schedule your next maintenance appointment, contact the experts at Coopertown Services today!

By Christina Robinson on January 10th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Don’t Jeopardize Your Holidays With A Chimney Fire!

Spending time together in front of a roaring fire is the cornerstone of the holidays for many families. However, before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins, make sure your fireplace and chimney are ready to use; schedule a chimney sweeping with a CSIA certified chimney sweep! Doing this will keep your fireplace burning safely and efficiently this holiday season – and for the rest of the winter.

How often should my chimney be swept?

Don't Jeopardize Your Holidays with a Chimney Fire - Memphis TN - Coopertown ServicesThe Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that all homeowners have their chimneys swept at least once per year. Whether you use your fireplace only a few times each winter or on a near daily basis, an annual sweeping is one of the most important ways to keep your fireplace burning safely.

In addition to an annual sweeping, the CSIA also recommends that chimneys “be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances.” An inspection by a certified chimney sweep ensures that in addition to removing soot, ash, and creosote, there are no other areas of damage or deterioration in the chimney.

The importance of regular chimney maintenance.

Having regular chimney maintenance done is especially important before heavy use periods, such as the winter burning season.

“A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the CSIA. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”

Chimney sweeping before the holidays significantly reduces chimney fire risk. The accidental ignition of buildup of flammable creosote in the flue is the leading cause of accidental chimney fire; removing creosote, as well as soot and ash, during a chimney sweeping can significantly reduce the risk of chimney fire.

The importance of using a certified chimney sweep.

Remember, not every person with a truck and a brush is a certified chimney sweep! Before hiring someone to work on your chimney, it is important to make sure they are a “real” certified chimney sweep. Sweeps certified by the CSIA carry laminated credentials that include a photo, identification number, and expiration; likewise, the CSIA database of certified sweeps lists all credentials.

If you are in Shelby County, trust the experts at Coopertown Services to care for your chimney system. Since 1977 our licensed, bonded, and insured CSIA certified chimney sweeps have been servicing chimneys in the local community. Our years of experience, education, and certifications ensure we can care for all of your fireplace and chimney needs – from the bottom of the firebox to the top of the flue!

Have your fireplace and chimney swept before the holidays arrive to ensure their safety. Do you live in the Shelby County area? If so, contact Coopertown Services today to schedule your next chimney sweeping or inspection with one of our certified chimney sweeps.

By Christina Robinson on December 9th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

What Our CSIA Certification Means For You

Choosing a chimney sweep to care for your fireplace system is about more than finding the cheapest company or picking the first name out of the phone book. Instead, working with the right chimney sweep ensures that your fireplace system will be well maintained in order to burn safely and efficiently for years to come. What Our CSIA Certification Means For You Image - Memphis TN - Coopertown Services

When it comes to finding a chimney sweep company, homeowners should look for sweeps with professional certifications and training. One of the top industry standards is a CSIA certification. At Coopertown Services we are proud to employ CSIA certified chimney sweeps in order to give our customers the best chimney care possible.

What is a CSIA certification?

The Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, is a professional licensing organization for chimney sweeps. In addition to providing consumers with valuable information, the CSIA offers training and certification for chimney sweeps.

CSIA certifications are widely considered the industry gold standard for chimney sweeps. In order to earn this certification, sweeps much undergo an education, training, and testing curriculum. This ensures they are well versed and knowledgeable in all aspects of chimney care including sweeping techniques, building codes, and EPA standards.

In order to maintain their certification, sweeps must retest every three years. This focus on continuing education ensures that CSIA certified sweeps are always up to date on the latest advancements in the fireplace industry.

Choosing the Right Chimney Sweep

There are a number of factors that homeowners should consider when hiring a chimney sweep – including their professional certifications or guild memberships. The following are just a few examples of questions to ask your chimney sweep before they work on your home.

  • Will the chimney sweep at my home be CSIA certified?
  • How long has the company been in business in this area?
  • Can you provide references from current customers?
  • Does the company and the chimney sweeps carry liability insurance in case of accidental damages?

How our CSIA Certifications Benefit You

At Coopertown Services, we are proud to live in the same community we serve. We have been maintaining fireplace and chimneys in the Memphis area since 1977 and pride ourselves on providing high-quality services and education to our friends and neighbors.

All of our chimney sweeps are certified by the CSIA; this ensures that no matter which sweep is working at your home, you can rest assured that they are a knowledgeable professional with years of experience. We are a one-stop chimney shop and can take care of everything from chimney sweepings and inspections to humane animal removal and chimney rebuilds.

Working with a CSIA certified chimney sweep ensures that your fireplace system in being cared for by a highly trained, knowledgeable, and ethical professional. If you are in the Memphis area, trust the CSIA certified chimney sweeps at Coopertown Services to care for all your fireplace and chimney needs. Contact us today for more information on the benefits of working with a CSIA certified chimney sweep or to schedule your next appointment.

By Christina Robinson on August 14th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

New Year, Clean Chimney

As the New Year starts, most of us try to make resolutions to help improve our lives. One resolution you can easily keep is to have your chimney swept at the beginning of each New Year!

The start of the New Year is a great time to have your chimney swept. Not only does it leave you with a chimney that is clean and safe to use for the rest of the year, but it’s also an easy annual reminder of when your chimney needs to be swept!

When to have your chimney swept

Clean Chimney - Memphis TN - Coopertown Services

How often you have your chimney swept depends on a number of factors including the age and condition of your fireplace, how often you use it, and what kind of materials you burn. In general, homeowners who regularly use their fireplaces should have their chimney swept at least once per year; if your fireplace is rarely or infrequently used you may be able to have it swept about once per 100 fires.

The most important factor in whether or not your chimney needs to be swept is soot accumulation; according to National Fire Protection Association Code 211 1/8th of an inch of soot y buildup indicates it is time for a chimney sweep. This amount of accumulation typically occurs after burning a full cord of wood; if you burn more than that amount of wood each year, your fireplace may need to be swept more.

What a chimney sweep does

The primary job of a chimney sweep is to remove creosote. Creosote is a highly flammable byproduct of combustion that can leave buildup in your flue. Because creosote is the leading cause of accidental chimney fire, an annual chimney sweeping is an excellent way to prevent this from happening.

In addition to removing creosote, chimneys weeps also remove any soot, ash, or other debris from the fireplace and chimney structure. Traditional chimney brushes along with more advanced technology such as vacuums and cameras are all tools used by a chimney sweep to make sure your chimney system is safe and clean. Likewise, a highly trained chimney sweep can also spot signs of damage or deterioration in your chimney; the level of training required to be able to do this is why it is important to work with a certified chimney sweep.

Why work with a certified chimney sweep

By working with a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, you can be certain that you are working with a highly trained and educated professional. In order to earn this certification sweeps must undergo a rigorous testing and training period as well as retest every three year to keep their certification current. This means that CSIA certified sweeps are up to date on the latest safety and technology advances in the fireplace industry.

Start 2016 off with a clean chimney; contact Coopertown Services today to schedule your chimney sweeping!

By Christina Robinson on January 29th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Beat The Fall Rush – Get Your Chimney Swept In The Summer!

Fall is our busiest season. Call today to get your appointment before the fall rush arrives!

Fall is our busiest season. Call today to get your appointment before the fall rush arrives!

At the end of a long winter, many homeowners are happy to close up their fireplaces for the season and head outside to enjoy the long days and warm sunshine. With all of the fun in the sun to be had during summer, many homeowners forget about their fireplaces until fall arrives.

Because most homeowners ignore their fireplaces and chimneys during the summer, however, the fall is often the busiest time of year to have chimney maintenance done. This year, beat the fall rush by having your chimney swept during the summer!

How often chimneys should be swept

The top professional organizations in the fireplace industry – the Chimney Safety Institute of America, the National Chimney Sweeping Guild, and the National Fire Protection Association – all agree that chimneys should be swept at least once per year. However, depending on use and the type of fuel being burned, your fireplace may need to be swept even more.

Fireplaces should be swept whenever there is a 1/8th of an inch of sooty buildup inside a flue or fireplace. For normal fireplaces used under normal conditions, this buildup occurs when approximately a cord of wood is burned. Because of this, homes that use wood burning fireplaces or stoves as their primary heating appliances may need to be cleaned more frequently due to the amount of creosote or soot created.

The importance of a swept chimney

Having your chimney professionally swept is important to both the health and safety of your family. Dirty chimneys can negatively impact your home’s air supply. Dirt, soot, or creosote in the chimney can impact the air that comes into your home; any blockages in the chimney can also cause smoke to back up into your home when the fireplace is in use. This can be especially dangerous if members of your family have breathing issues such as asthma or allergies.

In addition to impact your family’s safety, a dirty chimney can also be a safety hazard. Creosote, a byproduct of wood burning fires that builds up in the chimney, is extremely flammable and is the primary cause of chimney fire. Because of this, removing creosote in an annual chimney sweeping can reduce your risk of chimney fire.

Why have your chimney swept in the summer

As the temperatures outside rise during the spring and summer, most homeowners let their fireplaces fade into the background. Because of this, there is often a mad rush to schedule chimney and fireplace appointments in the fall. This can lead to long waiting lists as well as difficulty scheduling appointments at convenient times.

By having chimney maintenance done in the summer, you can ensure that your fireplace and chimney system are cleaned and ready to go for the first cold snap of the year. Likewise, beating the rush ensures that you can get an appointment time that works with your busy schedule, rather than being left at the mercy of what time slots are left.

This year, beat the fall rush by scheduling a chimney sweep during the summer. Contact Coopertown Services here today to schedule your chimney appointment and get your fireplace ready for fall!

By Christina Robinson on July 15th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: | Leave a Comment