Surprisingly, not all states have licensing requirements for chimney sweeps. This leaves the tasks of education and training to the employer. One of the smartest things a chimney sweeping company can do is require that its sweeps obtain CSIA certification. This ensures that sweeps have the knowledge and skills to perform their jobs in the safest, most efficient, and effective way.
A home is usually the largest investment that people make during their lifetimes. Therefore, they do not trust just anyone to help maintain it. A CSIA-certified chimney sweep is a reliable provider of chimney inspection and cleaning services. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the only U.S. governing body for chimney sweeps, certifies this individual.
The certification process involves an extensive program of study using a chimney sweep manual created by the CSIA. This manual includes clearances and codes listed in the National Fire Protection NFPA 211 codebook and the International Residential Code book. A chimney sweep must achieve a score of 80 percent or higher on two exams that take a total of approximately two hours to complete.
Only after receiving CSIA certification should a sweep be considered prepared to safely embark on a chimney sweeping career. Sweeps who do not possess this certification are considered less skilled and are never the better choice. This credential speaks for itself both within and outside of the industry and the public has come to equate it with quality.
If there is ever a time to exercise caution, it is when hiring someone to inspect or clean the chimney. Only a true professional should be trusted to inspect this naturally dangerous area and ensure that it is in peak operating condition. Look for the CSIA certification whenever hiring a chimney sweep. It indicates that the individual is one of the best in the business.