Firefighter Bryan Fredrickson is in a unique position. As owner and operator of A Fireman’s Chimney Sweep, he fights fires before they start. His goal is to never have to respond to your home or business as a firefighter. “As a firefighter, my job is after the fact; the emergency has already happened. I wanted to do prevention.”
Bryan’s passion for firefighting was ignited when he was only 3. Back then, it was all about the truck. “There’s nothing like riding on a fire engine.” He’s been a firefighter for 10 years, since he was 18, and now works full time for the Meridian Fire Department. “It’s more of a passion than a job,” he said. “I like the idea of going to work and not knowing what I’m going to see.” But he’d rather not respond to preventable, sometimes tragic situations. So he became licensed through the Chimney Safety Institute of America and serves the Treasure Valley in inspection, correction and maintenance.
With winter less than a month away and temperatures dropping, Bryan encourages everyone who uses a wood-burning unit for heat to have it inspected regularly. “I recommend an inspection every year until you know how much buildup you get from burning.” Buildup varies by type of fuel, frequency and method of use and other factors such as materials used for fire-starter. Wet wood causes more buildup than dry. Stoking and then dampening a fire for long-term low heat, such as overnight, also causes more buildup than a hot, quick burn.
Bryan offers these tips for safety:
* Have your chimney inspected every year by a CSIA-certified professional. Visit www.csia.org to search by zip code.
* Use dry wood only.
* Build smaller, hotter fires.
* Never burn cardboard boxes, trash, wrapping paper or Christmas trees. They can spark a chimney fire. There are fire-starting products on the market that can help reduce buildup.
* Install a stovepipe thermometer to monitor flue temperatures.
* Install and clean catalytic combustors on a regular basis.
A Fireman’s Chimney Sweep offers no-mess cleaning and inspection by using drop cloths and a coiled rod system connected to a vacuum hose. There’s no dust and no smell. They inspect chimneys, fireplaces and dryer vents. They’ll also do a complete safety inspection and check for recalls. More information is available at www.firemanchimney.com. The best time to have an inspection is in the spring, after your last fire. If you missed that window, your wait time might be longer but they’ll get you on the schedule. Call (208) 890-4588.
“I’m always happy to answer questions,” Bryan said. “And I want to thank my past customers for your business. I look forward to working with you in the future.”