Chimney Safety Institute of America is always trying to stay responsive to the needs of our chimney sweep community.
Following today’s meeting of the board of directors, CSIA President Mark A. Stoner announced some important changes to: CSIA’s Successful Chimney Sweeping manual; certification fees; waiting period for retests; a whitepaper on after-market parts; logo violations; and the popularity of csia.org.
** The Successful Chimney Sweeping manual and testing are scheduled for a full rewrite in the upcoming 12 to 18 months, which means a release date by 2016. The SCS manual was revised and updated in October 2011, the eighth edition. The subject material in CSIA’s in-person and online review, along with the exams, are improved on an as-needed basis or as warranted.
Stoner said as many as 1,000 sweeps will be contacted through the 2014-2015 study year to “help participate in the project by helping us understand your daily activities as a chimney professional in your area.”
Stoner says, “This will be the most comprehensive study on the chimney sweep trade that has ever been performed. This data will help us create the best possible manual, review and test in our industry’s history.”
Until a new edition is published, sweeps should continue to rely upon the 2011 edition of the SCS manual, along with the 2013 edition of the NFPA 211, and the 2006 IRC.
** The annual certification fee that CSIA charges will remain the same for 2014-15 — $159 for those who are also in the National Chimney Sweep Guild, and $209 for those that are not NCSG members. Fees for books/reviews/exams will also remain the same. Our pricing is discussed in the certification renewal area of csia.org.
** The waiting period for re-testing following a failure of either the CCS or C-DET exam is now 14 days, instead of 30 days, effective immediately.
Sweeps or techs can still take the test as many times as they need if they fail within one year of the original testing date, and the fees are at a reduced rate.
** CSIA’s board is exploring the possibility of constructing a new multipurpose facility on land CSIA owns adjacent to our 10,000-square-foot Technology Center at 2155 Commercial Drive, Plainfield, Indiana. This facility would be designed to accommodate more classrooms and equipment, so we could offer additional year-round training, such as indoor masonry classes. “We’ve opened up talks to look into the feasibility in building another building. This is a step in the right direction for us. Part of building anything is the cost, and how are you going to fund that cost,” Stoner said. “So we are starting off with a very conservative plan.”
** A portion of proceeds from CSIA’s annual auction, in concert with manufacturers donations, is being used to pay for a white paper on the use of after-market parts. That white paper will include testing at Intertek labs. CSIA is hoping the project will be finished this Fall to present to the National Chimney Sweep Guild members, as well as CSIA CCS chimney sweeps. We understand how important this issue is to our sweep population.
** The topic of CSIA and NCSG logo violators have been talked about on many social networking sites, and Stoner wants all sweeps to know we take the issue very seriously.
As the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician trademarks continue to gain value, it has become more common for those who do not hold the credentials to hold themselves out as certified. If you find that a non-certified person is using our trademark, please let us know via the reporting form on our website so that we can continue to protect our trademarks.
On that page, we list “how to report violators.” Put simply, what you need to do is send as much documentation about the violation as you can — that can involve getting yellow pages photocopies, a “screen-grab” on a website, photos of the offenders’ van or equipment, anything you can think of. Just one complaint is sufficient, and sweeps can be rest assured that our offices are diligent about taking every measure to ensure that the offender get compliant or remove all NCSG and CSIA material.
The board is also planning to review our procedures for potential updates. We’ll keep you posted on the progress and any changes that are made.
** We expect another record-setting year for csia.org, the industry’s No. 1 website for helpful consumer information, where homeowners can turn to. Google Analytics tells us that the number of page views to the site from Jan. 1-July 27, 2014 is up 15 percent (406,363 vs. 353,249) compared to the same period in 2013. Also, the number of individual web users is up 71.9 percent (179,306 vs 104,255) and sessions is up 61 percent.
CSIA.org is also up dramatically from the same period in 2012 and 2011.
How this matters to you? When our numbers go up, your numbers are going up.
“The average chimney sweep listed gets over 80 clicks annually from homeowners requesting their phone numbers,” Stoner said. “That means that is costs about $2-3 per lead from our site. In marketing terms alone, it’s one of the very best, least expensive types of advertising that you can do for your business.”
** Chimney Safety Institute of America is proud to announce that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has confirmed the integrity of CSIA course offerings, and our commitment to serving our U.S. military members. The “in-compliance” letter to us also stated, “The education and training opportunities that your institution continues to provide veterans and their dependents are appreciated.”