Why is it Important for Chimney Sweeps to be CSIA Certified?
Have you ever considered visiting a dentist for health problems unrelated to your teeth and gums? In a small way it makes sense, since dentists are exposed to medical training. The problem is that dentists are highly trained in matters related to the mouth and typically no other parts of the body. Compare this scenario to getting your chimney swept. You could hire any old home repair company, assuming they have the equipment needed. But when you hire someone who is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) you can be confident that the person you’re hiring is thoroughly familiar with what’s needed to keep your home safe from the threats of a neglected chimney.
Responsibilities and Obligations of a CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep
Chimney sweeps certified by CSIA are held to a higher standard of both performance and professional behavior than those who are not. Some of the responsibilities and obligations of certification by CSIA include:
- Learning about and utilizing the chimney and venting safety practices and techniques which are recommended by CSIA.
- Compliance with applicable building codes, with manufacturer’s installation instructions for products installed, and with recognized venting and chimney practices.
- Educating consumers about chimney and venting safety procedures.
- Continually striving to update skills, knowledge, and technique with regard to current safety practices for the chimney and venting of the fireplace.
- Dealing honestly and fairly with customers and refraining from engaging in any deceptive or unfair practices.
- Behaving in a respectful, decent, and professional manner when serving in the capacity as a chimney sweep.
Proficiencies of a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep
Perhaps the most essential element of becoming a certified chimney sweep is the knowledge gained. The education and testing program that’s part of the CSIA certification includes a demonstration of proficiency in:
- The best practices and skillful techniques of the trade.
- Technicalities related to chimney dynamics and construction.
- Wood burning physics and the formation of creosote.
- Applicable codes, standards, and clearances.
- EPA requirements and solid fuel appliances.
The CSIA recommends that people with fireplaces take care in choosing who will perform their annual chimney or vent inspection because professional service can make the difference between safety and exposure to either carbon monoxide poisonings or unnecessary fires.
Questions to Ask a Chimney Sweep Company
Questions the CSIA recommends people ask of a chimney sweep establishment include:
- How much experience do the professional chimney sweeps have, and how long has the company been in business in the area?
- Are current references from customers available?
- Is the company properly insured with a valid business liability insurance policy, to protect customers’ homes and furnishings in the event of an accident?
- Does the company guarantee that the person who will perform the work is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep?
- Are there any unresolved complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau or with a city or state consumer protection agency?
Professionally certified chimney sweeps have the right tools and equipment to do the job. Ask questions to find out if the tools to be used in your chimney inspection include: cameras, brushes, rods, trucks, vacuums, and ladders. With all the right tools, the job can be done with maximum expertise, which means you can have greater peace of mind that your fireplace is safe to use.
When it comes to fireplace safety, however, real peace of mind begins with confirming that your fireplace is in the hands of a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110