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CSIA Certification and Its Importance for Professional Chimney Sweeps

certified chimney sweeps powhatan vaWhen it is time for you to schedule your annual chimney cleaning and inspecting, hiring a chimney sweep who has been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) ensures you have a highly trained and qualified technician doing the job. You can trust a CSIA-certified chimney sweep to be certain your chimney is properly cleaned, safe to use, and in excellent working condition. Our chimney sweeps at Chimney Saver Solutions have been through the CSIA certification process, which gives them further training and knowledge in this field. Our customers often ask us what this certification means, and we would like to answer this by telling you more about the importance of this professional commitment.

What exactly is the CSIA?

A non-profit, educational organization, the CSIA dedicates itself to the elimination of chimney fires, carbon monoxide leaks, and other chimney-related dangers that can result in injuries or death. This goal is achieved by providing a vast collection of resources to educate the public, chimney and venting system professionals, and fire prevention specialists about the proper maintenance and safety procedures of fireplace, chimney, and venting systems. The CSIA offers the only national certification program in the chimney and venting system industry.

What are the obligations and commitments of a CSIA-certified chimney sweep?

When a chimney sweep completes the training for CSIA certification, he or she must uphold specific responsibilities, including:

  • 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 despective practices, and informing customers about essential chimney and venting safety procedures
  • behaving professionally and respectfully when performing chimney and venting duties.

How does a chimney sweep receive 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 NFPA 211: Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances from the National Fire Prevention Association
  • pass an open-book 90-minute exam using his/her copy of 2006 International Residential Code, 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 certification process?

To receive CSIA certification, one must prove proficiency in the following areas:

  • 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
  • care and installation of a variety of types of solid fuel appliances
  • requirements by the US Environmental Protection Agency

As you can see, the amount of skills and knowledge needed for a chimney sweep to become CSIA-certified is clear evidence of the importance of this qualification. To hire one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, contact Chimney Saver Solutions today to schedule an appointment for your annual chimney sweeping.

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