Hiring a chimney sweep who has been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to perform your annual chimney cleaning and inspecting means you are guaranteed that you have a highly trained and qualified technician doing the job. A CSIA-certified chimney sweep can be entrusted to be certain your chimney is properly cleaned, safe to use, and in excellent working condition. At Old Hat Chimney Service, our chimney sweeps have been through the CSIA certification process, which has given them further training, skills, and knowledge in this industry. Our customers often ask us what the benefits of this certification are, and we would like to answer this by telling you more about the importance of this professional credential.
What exactly is the CSIA?
A non-profit, educational organization, the CSIA dedicates itself to the prevention and elimination of chimney fires, carbon monoxide leaks, and other chimney-related dangers that can result in injuries or death. To achieve this goal, the CSIA provides a vast collection of resources to educate the public, chimney and venting system professionals, and fire prevention specialists about how to properly maintain fireplace, chimney, and venting systems. The CSIA offers the only national certification program in the chimney and venting system industry, which sets the standard for chimney sweeps.
What are the responsibilities and commitments of a CSIA-certified chimney sweep?
When a chimney sweep completes the training for CSIA certification, he or she must uphold specific obligations listed in the CSIA Code of Ethics, which include:
- practicing CSIA-recommended chimney and venting safety techniques
- improving skills, extending a knowledge base, and learning new techniques to stay updated on safety standards for the chimney and venting of fireplaces
- knowing all applicable local building codes concerning chimneys and fully complying with these codes
- following closely all manufacturers’ installation instructions for chimney and venting products
- dealing honestly with customers, refraining from unfair and deceptive practices, and informing customers about essential chimney and venting safety procedures
- behaving professionally and respectfully when performing chimney and venting duties.
What is the process of CSIA certification?
To become certified by the CSIA, one must do the following:
- attend a one-day intensive review session in person or a one-week review session online
- pass a one-hour exam based on the 2011 edition of the CSIA publication [italics]Successful Chimney Sweeping[italics] and the 2013 edition of [italics]NFPA 211: Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances[italics] from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA)
- pass an open-book 90-minute exam using his/her copy of [italics]2006 International Residential Code[italics], published by the International Code Council
- agree to pay the Annual Certification Fee
- sign the CSIA Code of Ethics
What topics are covered in the reviews and exams for certification?
To receive CSIA certification, one must prove knowledge and proficiency in the following areas:
- the technical aspects of chimney dynamics and construction
- skilled performances of the best and current techniques in the industry
- wood-burning physics and the formation of creosote residue, which is one of the leading causes of chimney fires
- familiarity of and compliance with all applicable codes, regulations, clearances, and standards
- the care and installation of a variety of types of solid fuel appliances
- all requirements by the US Environmental Protection Agency
To hire one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, contact Old Hat Chimney Service today to schedule an appointment for your annual chimney sweeping and inspection.