Hir­ing a chim­ney sweep

Put aside fairly tales and know the facts

The Covington News - - SHOWCASE OF HOMES -

Be­fore the start of this heat­ing sea­son, the Chim­ney Safety In­sti­tute of Amer­ica (CSIA) urges home­own­ers to sched­ule a chim­ney in­spec­tion in or­der to iden­tify hid­den sys­tem de­fects to re­duce the like­li­hood that the de­fects po­ten­tially be­come haz­ardous.

The CSIA is a non­profit, ed­u­ca­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to chim­ney and vent­ing sys­tem safety. The in­sti­tute is com­mit­ted to the elim­i­na­tion of res­i­den­tial chim­ney fires, car­bon monox­ide in­tru­sion and other chim­ney-re­lated haz­ards re­sult­ing in the loss of lives and prop­erty.

CSIA rec­om­mends an­nual chim­ney in­spec­tions and main­te­nance by a qual­i­fied pro­fes­sional to en­sure that your home heat­ing sys­tem func­tions as ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble. Be­cause proper care and at­ten­tion to ser­vice can help pro­tect peo­ple from fires and car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ings, it is im­por­tant to choose the pro­fes­sional wisely.

“Hir­ing the right pro­fes­sional to in­spect and main­tain the sys­tem is one of the most im­por­tant steps that a home­owner can take to en­sure safety and ef­fi­ciency,” states Ash­ley Eldridge, CSIA di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion.

While the CSIA rec­om­mends that peo­ple con­sider a CSIA Cer­ti­fied Chim­ney Sweep, the or­ga­ni­za­tion of­fers home­own­ers th­ese three straight­for­ward tips to help find a qual­i­fied chim­ney pro­fes­sional:

1. Ver­ify ad­ver­tised cre­den­tials. Rep­utable na­tional cre­den­tials must be re­newed on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to re­main valid. Check with the or­ga­ni­za­tion grant­ing the cre­den­tials to be sure that the in­di­vid­ual you hire holds the cre­den­tial he or she ad­ver­tises.

2. Ask for and check ref­er­ences. Con­sci­en­tious com­pa­nies will have ref­er­ences avail­able from pre­vi­ous clients and are ea­ger to share re­ports from lo­cal con­sumer ad­vo­cacy or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the Bet­ter Busi­ness Bureau or Angie’s List.

3. Learn the lan­guage of chim­neys to level the play­ing field. The interactive fire­place glos­sary at www.csia.org out­lines the thir­teen most im­por­tant terms you need to know to com­mu­ni­cate with any pro­fes­sional chim­ney sweep. The site also of­fers short pre­sen­ta­tions on chim­ney sweep­ing and in­spec­tion pro­cesses.

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