Before hiring a chimney sweep to complete your annual chimney maintenance, you should do a bit of research to find the best sweep. While recommendations from your friends and neighbors are helpful, there is one important qualification you  should be looking for. You need to know if your sweep has been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). This certification guarantees that this chimney sweep has the knowledge and training necessary to properly sweep and inspect your chimney. You can also trust a CSIA-certified chimney sweep to treat you fairly and honestly. Blue Ridge Chimney Services is proud to have CSIA-certified chimney sweeps on our staff, and want to explain why it’s important to us.

What is the CSIA?Why Professional Certifications Matter Image - Shenandoah Valley, VA - Blue Ridge Chimney Services

Founded in 1983, the CSIA leads the chimney and venting industry when it comes to educating service professionals on the techniques, skills, and safety practices. That includes education for the public on the dangers of chimney fires and other hazards related to the operation and maintenance of chimney and venting systems. This non-profit organization developed nationally recognized certification programs for chimney sweeps as well as dryer vent technicians.

What is involved with receiving CSIA certification?

To prepare for the certification exams, chimney sweeps study three publications: Successful Chimney Sweeping, the 2016 edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 211 Code, and the 2015 edition of the International Residential Code (IRC). Sweeps can participate in the CSIA’s National Chimney Sweep Training School, an in-person review session, or an online review session. After completing the review session, chimney sweeps have up to one year to take two exams to receive certification. At the time of these exams, chimney sweeps must also pay fees and sign the CSIA Code of Ethics. The code of ethics includes keeping up with changes in chimney technology and building codes, and conducting themselves in a fair and honest manner. Certified chimney sweeps sign this and uphold this pledge. A CSIA-certified chimney sweep must renew his or her certification every three years.

You can trust a CSIA-certified chimney sweep to properly take care of any chimney needs you may have. If you live in the Shenandoah Valley, contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps.