Our #1 priority is fire safety, so Sweeps & Ladders always takes the time to educate you and your family on fire safety.

We love getting asked questions. Here you’ll find the answers to some of our most common questions. If you have a question that is not answered below, ask us and we will post the answer for you.


Why is having your dryer vent cleaned so important? The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) estimates that around 16,000 home fires are caused annually because of a clogged dryer vent. That is 16,000 reasons to have your dryer vent cleaned and inspected!

In response to the growing awareness about dryer safety, the CSIA is advising consumers to have clothes dryer vents inspected – and maintained as necessary — to help prevent fires and injuries.

Clogged or improperly vented dryer vents can be dangerous,” notes Greg Williamson, CSIA’s executive director. “In response to this hazard, we recommend that consumers have a certified technician ensure that their dryer is properly vented to the outside and that the vent is free from lint, as well as nesting rodents or birds.

Statistics from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicate that, in 1997, there were 16,700 fires in the United States originating in clothes dryers. These fires resulted in 430 injuries, 30 deaths and over $84.4 million in property damage. The CPSC also reports that in 1996, approximately 400 people were non-fatally poisoned by carbon monoxide as a result of gas dryers.

Williamson adds that dryer vent inspections (also known as clothes dryer exhaust duct inspections) are more necessary than ever before due to the complex and technologically sophisticated construction of homes built today. Williamson cites that newer houses tend to have dryers located away from an outside wall in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and hall closets. These new locations mean dryers tend to be vented longer distances and vents are generally installed with sharp turns and bends to accommodate the structure of the home. As a result, dryer vents are harder to reach and also create more places where lint can collect and animals and birds can hide. The availability of natural gas dryers is another reason why dryer vent inspections are necessary. If a gas clothes dryer is improperly vented, deadly carbon monoxide can be forced back into a home.

When a certified technician inspects a dryer vent, they also verify that the correct type of vent is in use. For example, homes with plastic vents are generally upgraded to metal exhaust vents, because aluminum hosing is much less flammable than plastic.

CSIA recommends that CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Duct Technicians® perform dryer vent inspections. These technicians have been formally tested in the proper inspection and maintenance of dryer vents by CSIA.

Established in 1983, CSIA is a non-profit, educational organization, dedicated to educating the public about the prevention of chimney and venting system hazards, including clothes dryer vents. CSIA also recommends that consumers use a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep for all chimney inspections and maintenance.


Sweeps & Ladders operates using the guidelines spelled out in NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) 211 code.

The NFPA recommends that you have your chimney cleaned or inspected by a CSIA certified chimney sweep on an annual basis.


No, there will be no mess at all!

We lay out drop cloths over the floor and surrounding furniture as well as operate a powerful vacuum cleaner that keeps the soot and debris from entering your home!


We perform a detailed and thorough chimney cleaning process that starts with cleaning out your firebox, smoke chamber and flue liner. Then we perform a detailed roof top inspection of the crown/ chase cover masonry work, chimney cap and flashing.

We take pictures of every job and we will show them to you upon completion.


What causes carbon monoxide? What are some common sources of carbon monoxide?
Any gas appliance or combustible engine.

What is carbon monoxide?
Colorless, odorless, tasteless gas.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Nausea, vomiting, headaches, and flu like symptoms.

Why is carbon monoxide dangerous?
Carbon monoxide enters the hemoglobin 200 times faster than oxygen.

What should I do when the carbon monoxide alarm sounds?
Assure that it is not the battery and if it is not the battery then move to fresh air and call 911.

Will carbon monoxide alarms detect explosive gas leaks?
No, they are a one-gas monitor and that gas is carbon monoxide.

What it the typical carbon monoxide detector life? How long will a CO alarm last?
Typical lifespan is about 5 years. You should look at manufacturer’s recommendations.

Where should I install carbon monoxide detectors?
At least one on every floor and near or in every sleeping area of the home. Check the manufacturer’s manual.

Is there anywhere I shouldn't install carbon monoxide detectors?
Bathrooms or rooms with high moisture content.

I wonder where to install carbon monoxide detectors, particularly how high off the floor?
CO is about the same weight as air so it is typically safe to mount anywhere, but we recommend mounting where the user manual tells you to.

Where can I purchase a Carbon Monoxide Detector?
Most home improvement stores will carry them.

What is the proper way to do a carbon monoxide detector test?
Refer to your user’s manual because each manufacturer may be different.

Why should I leave the carbon monoxide (CO) gas detector alarm plugged in all year?
You may have a gas appliance that you will use all year such as water heaters and stoves.

What is the expected carbon monoxide alarm battery life?
We recommend changing the battery 2 times a year. (Six months is a good time)
Share by: