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Monday, February 20, 2012

Regency




Timeless design and enduring quality are the hallmarks of the Regency Traditional Direct Vent Gas Fireplace line. Fine finishing, realistic full fires and a multitude of customizing options allow you to match design elements on your fireplace to your home. Regency engineers have created a broad family of fireplaces so that you can enjoy a Regency almost anywhere in your home.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chimney Fires

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire," a line from the 1944 holiday classic, "The Christmas Song," evokes a feeling of home, warmth, friends and a cheery fire in the fireplace.
And whether you roast chestnuts or not, enjoying a fire in the fireplace or wood-burning stove is part of the charm of living in the mountains. But the charm of a cheery fire can quickly turn to disaster if residents don't pay attention to their chimneys.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the leading factor contributing to home heating fires (26 percent) was failure "to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys."
"We recommend residents clean their chimney at least once a year, and maybe more if they use a lot of soft woods, such as pine, as their fuel source," said Jerry Ringhofer, Crest Forest Fire division chief.
One of the biggest dangers is the buildup of creosote inside the chimney or flue.
According to the NFPA, creosote is a sticky, oily, combustible substance created when wood does not burn completely. It rises into the chimney as a liquid and deposits on the chimney wall.
A conservative best estimate of creosote fires would combine failure-to-clean fires that were confined to chimney or flue or involved solid-fueled space heaters, fireplaces, chimneys and chimney connectors.
This produces estimates of 14,190 reported creosote fires (22 percent of all home heating fires) per year nationally, with associated losses of four civilian deaths, 11 civilian injuries, and $35 million in direct property damage per year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

British Boy Designs Chimney with Santa in mind

LONDON (Reuters) - A worried letter from six-year old Leo Park sparked a mammoth operation to test what is believed to be the world's first chimney specifically designed to accommodate Santa Claus.
The little boy's parents are having a house custom built and when Leo viewed the plans he was concerned that the chimney wasn't big enough for Father Christmas and his famous belly that shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly.
As he was penning his traditional letter to Santa, Leo decided to also write a heartfelt missive about the chimney design problem to Jeremy Paxton, who owns the estate on which the new house is being built.
In childish scrawl the letter reads: "Dear Mr Paxton, I am worried that my mummy's house does not have a big enough chimney. I think Santa Claus will get stuck. Please can you help. Love Leo Park."
Paxton, founder and owner of luxury holiday home development Lower Mill Estate in the southwestern English region of the Cotswolds decided to commission a special formula to satisfy Leo's concerns.
Obviously size was the key consideration to ensure Santa won't get wedged tight on his way to stuffing the stockings and so Paxton enlisted a mathematician to take on the challenge and save the jolly old elf from turning red for the wrong reasons.
The Santa-friendly formula looked at risk factors of chimney entry, the size of St Nick's girth versus the width of the chimney at its narrowest point.
To test what they said was the perfect chimney, Paxton enlisted the help of a stand-in Santa Claus in full padded outfit, a crane, a harness and winch to put the new chimney through its paces.
Leo was invited to watch as the great experiment got underway.
"Go on Santa" he shouted out as the faux Father Christmas was lifted into the air towards the chimney.
A few seconds later and Santa was successfully lowered into the chimney of the half-built house, re-emerging shortly after to deliver a hearty: "Ho Ho Ho."
"I can guarantee that this chimney is big enough for Santa and all the presents," he told Leo.
An excited Leo gave a thumbs up to the St. Nicholas impersonator and rushed to hug him.
"I'm absolutely delighted not just that Santa fitted into the chimney, but that that little boy, Leo, said to me: 'That was the best day of my life' which made the whole thing worthwhile," said Paxton.
The Park family won't be able to inhabit their new holiday home until next December, just in time to get the milk and biscuits ready for their very special Yuletide visitor

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How often should I have my chimney cleaned?

This a tougher question than it sounds. The quick simple answer is: The National Fire Protection Association standard 211 says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” This is the national safety standard and is the correct way to approach the problem. It takes into account the fact that even if you don’t use your chimney much, animals may build nests in the flue or there may be other types of deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces should be cleaned at 1/4″ of sooty buildup, and sooner if there is any glaze present in the system. Factory-built fireplaces should be cleaned when any appreciable buildup occurs. This is considered to be enough fuel buildup to cause a chimney fire capable of damaging the chimney or spreading to the home.