Commercial Building Safety: The Heat Is on to Sweep
As anyone in commercial chimney sweeping understands, commercial spaces, particularly residential rental or vacation units, can be heated by a variety of sources.
Heating appliances fueled by wood pellets or liquid fuels are one category. Another category includes wood stoves and wood-fueled fireplaces. Whether or not these heat sources are primary or secondary, they are all important to maintain.
While several of these appliance categories are controlled simply by thermostats and valves, others involve the storage of fuels that are fed into the heating unit by the residents or guests.
In many cases, those using wood or pellet-fueled fireplaces and stoves even select the fuel themselves, with their choices ranging from quality, clean-burning materials to those that contain chemicals, plastics, recycled fibers, and highly-flammable sap or resin.
In any and every case, the combustion – or burning – of a fuel within a residential or commercial unit carries the risk of fire. While the firebox is where it should be contained, this fire can spread to the chimney system and move beyond it to ignite building materials and belongings. Even if the fire is spotted and contained, the fumes that are released are damaging to people, pet companions, and property alike.
That’s why regular commercial chimney sweepings from Fresh Sweeps are important to protecting both your tenants and your investment.
The Chimney System Itself Is a Challenge
Burning wood, wood pellets, and liquid fuels such as kerosene produce heat and water vapor. Because of impurities in these fuel sources, as well as imperfect combustion, not all of the materials are fully consumed in the firebox. Three by-products of burning are released into the air as well as coat the surfaces of the chimney system.
Soot, tar, and creosote are nearly unavoidable, even when the chimney is in good operating order and the system has been regularly – and properly – maintained by a certified Fresh Sweeps technician.
Some of these materials travel up the flue, but many of them attach themselves to brick, masonry, and metal ducting between the firebox and the rooftop chimney cap. Each time the fireplace or appliance is used to warm the space or add to the mood of residents and guests, this accumulation happens.
As such, the danger of fire grows. That’s because these materials, even though they didn’t burn the first time, are still capable of catching fire. They can catch fire at high temperatures or with sparks and flames from the combustion chamber. As tar and creosote tend to form a “streak” or stream up into the flue, they can actually provide a path for fire to travel well beyond where it starts.
Fresh Sweeps regular commercial chimney sweeping services are what you need to protect your properties against these threats. Our thorough inspection and sweeping processes will help protect your property and guests.
Reduce the Potential for Dangerous Fires
As a commercial property owner or manager, the reality of liability is part of what goes into the business equation. Those who succeed financially have learned to proactively manage their risks by maintaining properties and their mechanical systems with an eye on safety and security.
Heating appliances, wood-fueled fireplaces, and wood stoves are the root causes of over 20,000 structural fires a year in the United States. Many of these can be attributed to the build-up of flammable materials. Other contributing factors include poor functioning of the damper, inadequate venting at the top, and cracks in bricks or masonry.
Fresh Sweeps is committed on a local, grassroots level to combating this devastating situation. Professional inspection, a thorough initial commercial chimney sweeping, and regularly scheduled return visits can all help keep fire where it belongs – in the firebox, warming and delighting residents.
Turn Worry into Peace of Mind Call our Scheduling Center to learn more about our commercial chimney sweeping services. Whether it’s a single fireplace or dozens of systems across a large property, Fresh Sweeps can inspect and clean the systems while also managing costs, risks, and everyone’s schedule to best serve your business.