When it comes to chimney safety, the whole industry is incredibly under-regulated. This is not only a danger to residential areas but also a misfortune for buyers. Even though the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) was established in the 1980s and quickly became the national standard for chimney safety, homeowners are still not very knowledgeable about fireplace and chimney standards and safety regulations. The truth is not all chimney companies are the same and neither are all chimney sweeps.
Why You Should Never D-I-Y
When it comes to your chimney system, it is never a good idea to fix the issues on your own. You wouldn’t build your own transmission or build your own house, you should never repair your own chimney either. This task should only be handled by a professional. They know how to clean it properly without damaging the liner or other parts. They can recognize minor damages before they become major ones. And they are full of chimney-related knowledge because they have had plenty of classroom training and field training along with re-certification.
The CSIA Difference
When a chimney sweep is CSIA-certified, you can fully trust them to take care of your chimney. In order to be CSIA-certified, they must:
- Study residential fire codes and chimney sweeping
- Attend a review day in person or online
- Pass an one-hour, 100 question exam
- Pass a 90-minute exam on residential code
- Sign a CSIA Code of Ethics to protect consumers and to help prevent scams in the industry. If a member is found in violation of the code of ethics, their membership could be revoked.
- Must go back to be re-certified every 3 years by credits or exams
It takes lots of time and money to become CSIA certified. This certifications is vital to help consumers decide whether a chimney sweep is an amateur or a professional. Some other ways to figure out if you can trust the chimney company you choose include memberships such as National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) and manufacturer certifications, such as the National Fireplace Institute.
Take the time to do your own research, read online reviews, and check out each of their credentials. When you do make an appointment, make sure you are comfortable with every person you’ve spoken with at the company. You should schedule an appointment with the industry’s best–a company with excellent reviews, training, certifications, expertise, and more – choose Hudson Chimney! Call us at 904-282-4159 or contact us online.