Why Do We Recognize This Week?
National Chimney Safety Week is celebrated by sharing essential chimney safety tips for homeowners. When people have the facts, and are on the lookout for dangerous conditions, it helps to prevent devastating chimney and home fires.
CSIA – A Resource for All
The Chimney Safety Institute of America works tirelessly to offer resources and education in an industry that is currently not regulated. They offer certifications for Chimney Sweeps, Master Chimney Sweeps, Dryer Exhaust Technicians, Inspection, Diagnosis, Documentation, Instillation, Masonry Repair, and more. These CISA certified Chimney Sweeps are then required to re-certify every 3 years to ensure all information is up to date.
These certifications provide more sweeps with the essential information they need to do their job to the best of their ability, and help homeowners ensure their work is being done by the best in the business.
Facts about Chimney Fires
In the US alone there are over 25,000 chimney fires a year. Severe chimney fires may shoot smoke or fire from the top of the chimney. However, these explosive cases are not always the norm. The majority of chimney fires are caused by dirty chimneys – many burn slowly and can be hard to detect if you do not know the signs. Signs of a chimney fires are described as loud cracking or popping noises, dense smoke, and an intense, hot smell. Most chimney fires burn quietly and slowly but do major structural damage to your chimney and to your home.
When you have a CISA Certified Chimney Sweep come out to your home for your annual inspection, they can check for signs of a chimney fire during the sweep. They will be able to make recommendation on what needs to be done to bring your chimney back into compliance with current safety standards.
Levels of Inspection
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers three levels of chimney inspection.
Level 1: This is a routine inspection of readily accessible portions of your chimney exterior and interior, fireplace, appliances, and connections. Your technician will be looking for soundness of structure as well as basic appliance instillation and connections. The sweep should also check for any obstructions in the chimney.
Level 2: This level of inspection is required when changes have been made to your chimney system. This includes repairs or changes to the flue, chimney relining, and replacement or addition of an appliance. A Level 2 inspection is also required upon the sale or transfer of the property, after an operating malfunction, or after an external event that has likely damaged the chimney.
This inspection includes video scanning that examines internal surfaces and joints of all flue liners. It does not require removal or destruction of permanently attached portions of the chimney.
Level 3: This level is the most in-depth inspection – typically only required once a hazard has been detected during a Level 2 inspection. A Level 3 inspection may involve removal of permanent components of the chimney in order to more accurately check a potential hazard.
Preventing Chimney Fires
As the CSIA says, “Clean chimneys don’t catch fire”. Chimney fires are easily prevented with an annual Level 1 inspection. If you live in the Hampton Roads area, please call Black Goose Chimney. We are fully licensed and insured, and all of our Lead Sweeps are certified by CSIA as Chimney Sweeps as well as Dryer Exhaust Technicians. They also hold the Fire Investigation, Research, and Education (F.I.R.E.) certification. We feel it is essential to continuously educate ourselves in this growing field.
To read more about Chimney Safety, please visit CSIA’s official page for Chimney Safety Week 2019: https://www.csia.org/chimneysafetyweek-resources.html