People trust products and services that come with a notable certification, and this is with good reason. A product, service, or professional backed by a reputable organization is much more likely to have the correct features or training necessary to serve its purpose. With associations of and certification, one holds the highest standards when it comes to the care and service provided. Having an expert organization support the certifications it offers makes a vast difference in quality, and that also goes for your chimney sweep.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America is a non-profit organization comprised of experts from across the industry that volunteer their time to help keep people educated on the latest fireplace and chimney safety information. Regularly adding new material to its webpage, the CSIA strives the teach homeowners about the fireplace and chimney systems in their homes and how to properly care for them. The CSIA also maintains the mission to reduce the number of chimney fires, carbon monoxide poisonings, and other dangers associated with chimney malfunction. As a part of this mission, the organization has created the Certified Chimney Sweep credential to give homeowners the power to choose the most qualified chimney sweep to care for their chimney.
In order to obtain this certification, chimney sweeps must pass a comprehensive exam covering the most up-to-date information on chimney safety. Right now, the exam covers the latest version of the International Residential Code and National Fire Protection Association Code 211. This credential must be renewed every year for up to three years after taking the exam. At that point, the chimney sweep must retake the exam or provide proof of continuing education, which is also offered through CSIA. Essentially, the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep is a knowledgeable expert in the field.
One way that a certified chimney sweep can help protect you is by properly removing the creosote from your chimney. The process of burning wood results in the production of creosote, a messy black substance that clings to the interior of the chimney. Over time, the creosote builds up to dangerous levels that may block the chimney’s ability to vent smoke, filling the home with toxic gases, or it can even cause a fire. Chimney fires are almost always preventable with regular, thorough sweeps, but when left to fill with creosote, chimneys are very likely to ignite. Creosote burns at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes the fires very difficult to extinguish. While they often end in tremendous devastation, this does not have to happen to you. A Certified Chimney Sweep understands the danger of creosote, in addition to many other chimney dangers, and will know to completely remove every last bit of it at every chimney sweep.
For a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep in the Washington D.C. area, contact Winston’s Chimney Service. The experts there can help keep your house safe this winter season.