It’s a new year, and here in Worcester, we still have weeks of winter left ahead of us. For many that means staying cooped up inside in front of a cozy fire, in hopes of avoiding snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. (We can’t say we blame you!)
But think forward a few months to the end of winter when temps begin to rise again… We’re guessing that when the time comes, you’ll want to ensure your chimney system is still looking good after a full burning season. And to tell the truth, spring and summertime is often the best time to invest in chimney maintenance, which means you’ll want to get a professional on the job right away.
That said, finding a team you trust in for it all is imperative, otherwise you may end up experiencing even more issues down the line. That’s why we ask you to always keep one question in mind when it’s time to hire a sweep – are they Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified?
If not, it’s time to reconsider and find a crew that is!
About the CSIA
Why is this certification such an important one to obtain? Well, let’s start by explaining a bit more about the CSIA itself.
This organization is a non-profit that is run by a group of volunteers, all of whom are industry experts, dedicated to keeping sweeps educated and well-informed on chimney and fireplace practices. It was founded in 1983, and it has been a leader in the world of chimney and venting ever since!
And along with educating sweeps, a big goal of the CSIA is to keep homeowners informed on fireplace safety, as well. They consistently offer information on the importance of annual inspections, regular sweepings, and investing in chimney repairs. Needless to say, countless families have stayed safer over the last (nearly) four decades because of the CSIA’s dedication to safety.
The CSIA also believes in community involvement. They offer things like free training to local fire departments, visits to local schools, and they participate in countless public safety events. Anything they can do to keep families safer and better informed, they want to do! This goes for the professional world, as well. Along with certifying sweeps throughout the country, the CSIA also participates in many national conferences.
Finally, the CSIA’s Technology Center is the place to go for education and instruction. Sweeps that attend get the highest quality level of training available.
In the end, by hiring a CSIA-certified sweep, you’re can rest easier knowing your working with someone who believes in the core values of the organization, as well. These include education, a commitment to excellence, professionalism, integrity, and safety – everything you could want in a chimney sweep!
Putting in the Hard Work
So, how do sweeps earn this certification? Well, rest assured, it’s no simple process, so you can bet any team that claims this credential has put in time and effort to obtain it.
First things first, the sweep must invest in hundreds of dollars worth of books and materials, all of which needs to be studied intently. These texts include information from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), as well as the International Residential Code (IRC).
After thoroughly reading the material, a review process is completed, and once studying is complete, it’s time for the two-part exam, which is both lengthy and exhaustive. One thing is for certain – a sweep that passes will definitely know their stuff!
The Code of Ethics
Now, along with hours of studying, reviewing, and taking exams, another big requirement to gain a CSIA certification is signing their Code of Ethics. This requires that sweeps use their knowledge to be professional, respectful, and honest when working with their customer base. This also means no deceptive practices or statements whatsoever.
This code also bounds the sweep to strive to stay up-to-date on any new skills, techniques, or industry news, ensuring their customers are always receiving the highest level of care possible.
Finally, sweeps should aim to keep consumers educated, as well, so they know the best ways to operate and use their chimney and venting products.
Ready to Work With the Best? We’re Here for You!
Here at Firesafe Chimney Services, we’re proud to employ CSIA-certified sweeps, and we have team members that are certified with the National Fireplace Institute (NFI), as well. But our associations don’t end there! We’re also members of both the Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild (MCSG) and the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG).
Thanks to this training, we can provide a long list of services, such as inspections, sweepings, masonry repairs, relining work, leaky chimney repairs, smoke chamber repairs, and more! You can also count on us to install your new class A chimney, as well as any new chimney components, like a cap or damper. You won’t find a team more dedicated to ensuring you stay safer and satisfied throughout every burning season.
Don’t put off the care you deserve. Give us a call or reach out online to set up your next appointment with our qualified crew. We look forward to hearing from you soon!