Wilkins Chimney Sweep

Come on Baby Light My Fire – the essential guide to Christmas gifts for the open-fire lover!

Are you looking for a ‘different’ Christmas present for someone this year? That one person who seems to have everything and needs nothing?  Well, the elves at Wilkins Towers have had a hunt around the internet for some fun, quirky and unusual chimney, wood and fire related gifts that might just help you out of a tricky gift giving conundrum this Christmas.

If the person like fires, wood, trees or gardens, they are probably going to LOVE one of these (we’d like the chainsaw course please.)

On a serious note, whilst our list may save your Christmas present giving reputation, the first gift on the lift may actually save someone’s life so could we recommend one in each stocking? This year we adopted the Katie Haines Memorial Trust as our charity of the year; Katie died of carbon monoxide poisoning shortly after she got married and we’re working with the Trust to spread the word about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Wherever you are this Christmas – please stay safe, have fun and enjoy the holidays!

Peter, Louise and Gerry the Cat x

The Wilkins Chimney Sweep Guide to the ‘hottest’ chimney-related Christmas presents around!

Click on the item if you want to find them online – other suppliers may be available!

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

 

At Wilkins we sell a ‘standard’ look, but top quality, carbon monoxide alarm (Honeywell XC90). But for something a bit different we think this NEST smoke and CO alarm combo is pretty attractive. An essential piece of equipment for all fireplace users. LINK TO NEST STORE

Companion Set

 

Whilst we love old-fashioned designs this wall hung companion set attracted us because it is so unusual. Pretty sure Austin Powers would describe it as ‘Groovy Baby.’ LINK TO FIREPLACE PRODUCTS

Stove Fan

 

Did you know that this handy device, when placed on top of your wood-burning or multi-fuel stove, pushes the heat around your home? They are brilliant and can really make a difference in a big room, we highly recommend them. They are mostly utilitarian in appearance (there’s a market there surely?) but we found this lovely fan that reminded us of reindeer antlers! FIND ME ON GEARBEST

Wood Storage – Indoors

 

We hope by now, if you have read any of our other blog posts, you’ll know it is REALLY important you only burn DRY wood (wet wood releases tar which sticks to the inside of the chimney which can, in turn ignite, causing a chimney fire.)  Achieve safety and beauty with this ingenious indoor log store that will let your logs dry out beautifully in just a few days. We saw this one at a local show – and thought it was particularly appropriate as it looks like a Christmas candle. SEE THE RANGE HERE AT ARDOUR LIVING

Wood Storage – Outdoors

 

If you have longer to dry out your logs how about this beauty? We thought ‘5 Gold Rings’ when we saw this one! Wood that is stored to dry out still benefits from air circulating through it, so this design is great. Pop a tarp over it in the wet weather. SEARCH WORM.CO.UK!

 

Make your own logs – paper log maker

Are you forever at the local garage buying bags of logs? Why not make your own from old newspapers? This brilliant little contraption will help you save £££’s on your yearly log bill. Simply soak the paper in water until it is mushy, load into the log maker and press down to expel all the water. Leave to try and voila, free logs! LOOK FOR ME ON PAPERLOGMAKER

 Grow your own logs – plant your own willow wood

 

If you use your fire a lot, own a small bit of land and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, why not grow your own wood? A Somerset company runs day courses to teach you all you need to know to plant, maintain and harvest your very own willow wood. The course is £60, next one in early Feb and the ‘grow your own’ kit starts at £65! CONTACT THE WILLOWBANK

Cut down your own wood – with a professional chain saw course

If you already have the wood but need to know how to cut it down properly, this course might be more suitable. At a cost of £195 per person, the two-day course combines training and assessment and candidates who achieve an acceptable standard will be awarded a Lantra Awards Certificate of Training (valid for 5 years). This course is suitable for someone who intends to use the chainsaw for business, domestic or leisure activities, but does not intend to work in forestry, arboricultural activities or work on Forestry Commission land, or fell trees over 200mm in diameter. (HSE). BOOK YOUR CHAINSAW TRAINING!

And finally…something silly! Behold the Beacon!

Be the envy of everyone in the street, with your very our own beacon! Imagine directing people to your house, ‘past the post box on the right, 200 yards down, we’re the house with a Mondeo in the drive and a 20ft flaming beacon in the front garden. You can’t miss us.’
We’re not entirely sure of the legality of this (so do check with the suppliers) but we know we’d give anything to see it! Bullfinch Gas have supplied hand held torches and beacons to events such as the 2012 London Olympics Relay Torch and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee so they really know their stuff. To see the full range: BULLFINCH 

That brings us to the end of our lift of chimney-related gifts for Christmas 2017. If you buy any of them we’d love to see a photo (especially if it is the beacon!)

Wishing you a very happy Christmas from the Wilkins Team.

 

Use someone who can…

Our team in West berks have had an interesting challenge over the last few days. An elderly customer asked us to come in as a sweep had apparently been sweeping her boiler flue for a couple of years and then told her it could no longer be swept as the flue was blocked. We were called in to take a look since the expense of a new boiler was looming on the horizon.

Our chaps tried with a standard sweep and took the pictures shown. Rain water was ‘washing’ down the chimney bringing with it lots of solid fuel ‘soot’…

stalactites-in-boiler-fluestalactites-in-boiler-flue-too

Stalactites of solid fuel ‘soot’ had formed in the flue. This was dangerous and had nearly blocked the flue, causing CO build up. However, we were able to clear the flue (sorry no pictures of it clean…only some of the resulting debris removed from a slight bend just inside the flue)

stalactites-removed

Peter used Power Sweeping technology to remove these along with the 6” brush in the photograph to remove this solid fuel ‘soot’ which had solidified because it had got wet and had not been swept properly, by a different local sweep, for many years. Power sweeping is not great for all chimneys but really important in this case. So, for the price of a sweep we were able to save the customer the price of purchasing a whole new flue and possible whole new boiler…!

The moral of this – if you want something doing, ask a Wilkins Chimney Sweep. If we can’t do it…no-one can!

Compelling reason to use a professional chimney sweep!

We all know that cheap isn’t always best – but sometimes cheap becomes the most expensive – and this is one reason why…

John Baldacchino of Wilkins Chimney Sweep (West Cheshire) recently attended a customer’s property at their request to retrieve sweeping equipment that a ‘competitor’ sweep had got stuck in the flue. After an initially CCTV survey – see here CCTV Footage  – it was evident that the sweep had damaged the connection between the flue liner and the log burner’s flue pipe. The sweep claimed it was an illegal installation which resulted in his brush getting stuck. John was able to remove the brush and rod and provided the owners with the CCTV footage to enable the customer to take matters further with the original sweep. The brush and rod had both seen better days – the brush was DIY quality.

We like to share our professional qualifications with everyone – we shout about them whenever we can. We feel they are hard won and well earned. Everyone in the Wilkins Chimney Sweep team has been extensively trained and we are proud of our achievements.Our training means we know what we’re doing! Our professional association (APICS) provides a list of kit that is required and specifies standards where required. Wilkins Chimney Sweeps are assessed annually by head office and are checked on their kit standards which have to be maintained to a high level of quality. We’re proud of that.

It does mean we may not be the cheapest sweeps in town – but we do the right thing by our customers to help prevent incidents like this…

Why Choose a…
Wilkins Chimney Sweep
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