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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

Your Local Certified Sweeps

Owning a chimney is a big responsibility. If there are issues with your chimney system that you are not aware of, it can cause complications with your fireplace’s performance, and be a considerable fire or structural safety hazard. With so much at risk, it is important that you choose a chimney sweep with the skills, training, and experience to inspect, maintain, and repair your chimney and fireplace. In addition to this, you want a chimney sweep that is going to conduct their business fairly and without cutting any corners. That’s why we here at Old Smokey’s want to let our customers know why it is important to us that all our chimney sweeps receive and maintain a certification from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Only a CSIA certified chimney sweep is qualified to perform maintenance, inspections, and repairs on your chimney and ventilation system.


What is a CSIA certification?

The CSIA is a non-profit organization that was originated to create certification standards for chimney sweeps in relation to chimney and ventilation maintenance and safety. In addition to this, the CSIA also requires that chimney sweeps take an oath, promising to practice ethical business practices.

There are a few steps required to becoming CSIA certified. First, sweeps need to go through a rigorous training schedule related to the latest chimney, fireplace, and ventilation maintenance and repair techniques. Sweeps will then need to go through another training on chimney and ventilation safety issues and standards. Once their training is over, chimney sweeps need to pass a comprehensive exam based off of their training.

Once they’ve passed their exam, there is one final step that sweeps need to complete before certification. The CSIA has every sweep to create a personal code of ethics and conduct. This code of ethics is created with the consumer’s well being in mind. Each code must state that a chimney sweep will always keep their costumer’s safety as a top priority when working on their chimney and ventilation systems. They must also make a promise to never cut corners when working for a customer and to conduct ethical business standards. Once they develop their code, sweeps must swear to uphold their code, and perform their work with integrity. Once this step is completed, sweeps are eligible for certification.

Once a certification is issued, that doesn’t mean that a chimney sweep is done with the certification process. Technology is always changing, so sweeps need to stay current with the latest techniques related to chimney maintenance and safety. That’s why the CSIA requires all sweeps to be recertified every three years.

If you are in need of a chimney inspection or repair, now is a great time to schedule one! Beat the fall rush and call Old Smokey’s today to have one of our CSIA certified chimney sweeps inspect your chimney. If you live in the northern Indiana, northern Ohio, or mid-Michigan region, you can reach us at 800-876-6539 or 260-424-0009, or schedule an appointment online today!

Professional Certifications Are Important

If someone says to you, “You’re certifiable,” that’s not typically a good comment. It’s an expression used as a negative with respect to one’s mental health. But at Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney, we’ll gladly take “you’re certifiable” as a compliment. Because we are certifiable — and proud of it. Being certified and certifiable sets us apart from those who lack rigorous training credentials.

In business today, you frequently hear words like “qualified,” “trained,” and “expert.” They are fine words, and we have no quarrel with anyone who uses such terms. But the ordinary Sam or Samantha might rightly ask, “What does that mean?” and “How can you prove the value of these terms?”

That’s where certification comes in.

What does professional certification mean for you in practical terms? It means added confidence in our work, greater assurance regarding your health and safety, and extra comfort in the “quality” of our work. There’s that word again.

What sorts of professional certifications are there in our industry? Most notably, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certifies technicians so that they have the skills and tools to inspect or clean your chimney properly.

Old Smokey’s employs CSIA-certified professionals.

Let’s see what this means for you as a consumer.

CSIA certification involves compliance with a set of rigorous industry standards that yield quality to our customers. The CSIA is a non-profit organization, thereby safeguarding itself from bias or commercial conflict.

Professionals who are CSIA-certified pass a rigorous examination and agree to abide by a stringent code of ethics.

So, how does this help you as a homeowner? It protects you because any CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep found in violation of the code of ethics runs the risk of having CSIA certification revoked. In other words, the ethics code has some teeth in it. And that’s good for you the customer.

The CSIA meets the highest educational standards. The certification credential was established in 1983, so it has withstood the test of time. It’s not some business owner’s hastily concocted promotional scheme. Far from it, the CSIA’s focus on continuing education and training yields value to the homeowner owing to the CSIA’s commitment to preventing residential chimney fires, carbon monoxide intrusion, and other chimney-related hazards.

Again, we’re proud that our folks are CSIA-certified.

While not necessarily certifications per se, other types of training include National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) standards, education in and compliance with NFPA-211 codes and recommendations, and best practices gleaned from our own experience with customers like you.

Another certification body is the National Fireplace Institute. The NFI is the certification arm of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Education Foundation (HPBEF), a nonprofit educational organization for the hearth industry. As with any certification entity, the NFI assesses its industry and devises standards of information, knowledge, training and compliance.

For more than 20 years, Old Smokey’s has served homeowners in northern Indiana, northern Ohio and mid-Michigan. We serve folks from Elkhart in the west to Ypsilanti in the east, from Lansing in the north to Defiance and Fort Wayne in the south.

Old Smokey’s CSIA-certified professionals have the skills and tools to inspect and service your chimney according to the strictest standards and practices.

Call us at today 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539 or schedule an appointment online. We’re certifiably glad to hear from you!

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