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Fire Prevention and Safety Wood and gas fireplaces need professional attention this time of year.

By: Value News | Category: Home Improvement | Issue: November 2021

For over 44 years, Black Hat Cleaning Services owner David Harris, Sr. has been serving N.E. Oklahoma.

For over 44 years, Black Hat Cleaning Services owner David Harris, Sr. has been serving N.E. Oklahoma.

Get ready for cooler temperatures and a cozy home by first getting your chimney and dryer vent cleaned. Debris like birds’ nests and leaves, and creosote could be lingering as potential fire hazards in your chimney.  As for your dryer vent, lint doesn’t just accumulate in your lint trap; it can also build up in your dryer vents. As most of us know, this lint is extremely flammable; it is the build-up of this lint that can lead to dryer fires.

So before you light that first log, be sure you won’t be sparking a chimney fire.

Approximately 23,000 chimney fires occur every year, causing nearly a billion dollars in damage, and potentially the loss of lives.

Having your chimney professionally cleaned annually will help you avoid a disaster.

You can’t miss the Black Hat Cleaning van when it’s in your neighborhood.

You can’t miss the Black Hat Cleaning van when it’s in your neighborhood.

You can prevent a chimney fire with three easy steps:

Have your chimney professionally inspected and cleaned. At the beginning of the heating season, hire a chimney inspector to examine your chimney—specifically, the chimney liner and ventilation. The chimney inspector will check for creosote build-up, cracks, and leaks, and make sure the vent is in good working order. A good chimney sweep thoroughly cleans the chimney, flue, and vents.

Use the right wood. Not all woods burn the same. Seasoned hardwood—like ash, oak, maple, hickory, and beech—is best. It has been fully dried out, and the ends should appear cracked, showing the wood is dry. When wood is still green, it creates more smoke as the moisture is dried. This additional condensation can lead to creosote build-up.

Never burn any treated wood materials—e.g., plywood, pressed wood, pressure-treated lumber, engineered wood, like laminate. These materials have been chemically treated and could emit dangerous gases when you burn them.

Why have your dryer vents professionally cleaned.

As lint and other debris build up in the dryer vents, it constricts airflow to the dryer. With less air, the dryer is forced to work harder to heat the air, producing hotter and hotter air as the dryer vents get progressively more clogged. If the dryer vents are not cleaned, the superheated air can ignite the lint in the vents and lead to a home fire.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that clogged dryer vents are the cause of more than 15,000 home fires each year. These dryer fires cause more than $200 million in damages to homes and properties – but can be largely prevented with regular dryer vent cleanings.

Having your dryer vents professionally cleaned can make your home safer by reducing the risk of a dryer fire.

Signs your dryer vents may be clogged.

While it is recommended to have your dryer vents cleaned about once per year, how often your dryer is used can impact how often they need to be maintained. However, your dryer may be offering you clues that it is time for a dryer vent cleaning! The following are six signs your dryer vents are beginning to get clogged and need to be cleaned.

Regular loads of clothes are not dry after a full cycle.

Clothes or the dryer are too hot to touch after use.

The inside of the dryer has a damp, musty odor.

Loads begin taking progressively longer and longer to dry completely.

The laundry room or area around the dryer becomes significantly warmer after use.

More lint is found in the lint trap or can be seen around exterior vents.

By having your dryer vents professionally cleaned, you can help protect your family by significantly reducing the risk of a dryer fire in your home.

Black Hat Cleaning Services Owner David Harris, Sr. helps homeowners with honesty, integrity, and unsurpassed professionalism. When you see him in his iconic black top hat, you know you’re getting the absolute best in chimney, air duct, and dryer vent cleaning.

David Harris, Sr. started his chimney sweep and dryer vent cleaning business in 1977.  Over the years, his company has evolved into a trusted name in the business. “It’s amazing in this industry to have this kind of longevity,” he said. “Everywhere I go, I wear my hat. I always wanted everyone to recognize my company with my Black top hat.”

The services provided by Black Hat encompass comprehensive safety and overall health in the home. Chimney sweep services, as well as dryer duct cleaning, are essential for fire prevention, and air duct cleaning is vital for the air quality inside the home, ensuring a healthy breathing environment. These maintenance services also help keep your home smelling nice too.

Fire burning chimneys are recommended to be cleaned depending on wood-burning consumption, with a standard recommendation of professional sweep every 3 to 4 ricks of wood burned. Gas burning fireplaces only need to be cleaned every 15 to 20 years. “If you’re not sure if your chimney needs cleaning, at least have it inspected,” David said. “If you’ve never had it cleaned, clean it!”

Dryer duct cleaning is sometimes overlooked by homeowners but should be a top priority regarding fire safety. Many home fires are caused every year by the lint that gets trapped within the pipes and, once ignited, can quickly burn throughout a home. “Dryer lint is the best thing you can use to start a campfire,” said David. “It is highly flammable. You don’t want that trapped in your dryer vent as a fire hazard.”

David’s sound advice for homeowners is only a small part of the comprehensive service provided by Black Hat. Honesty and integrity are at the forefront of his business practice and what his customers see when they see him in his top hat. “My customers know that they can trust Black Hat Cleaning to be honest, and take care of them, give them peace of mind.”

Over the years, just as David’s hat has gotten taller, the services have evolved to become more efficient, time-saving, and thorough. Chimney cleaning can take up to 45 minutes. David loves his work and the people he serves. “This is my 44th year in business with many more years ahead.”

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