“No, I’m not a chimney sweep,” Eric Adair says with a smile. “I’m an engineer.”
Adair is on the board of the Chimney Safety Institute of America, an 11-person volunteer team that guides the nonprofit CSIA’s policies, educational curriculum, and training. He isn’t a stranger to the chimney and venting world, even though his main tool is a ruler, not a rod.
Adair said he has experienced “very dedicated, very passionate people in this industry” that have a thirst for knowledge that CSIA helps to quench. “Everybody I’ve seen at CSIA and who comes through CSIA, definitely wants to step up their game, they are not just satisfied doing the little bit to get by. They want to promote safety of the chimney,” Adair said.
Adair began his career performing HVAC design work before joining Simpson Dura-Vent, [now known as M&G Dura-Vent] in 1996. Adair’s work for Dura-Vent was in product development and design related to venting systems and chimney-related components.
That chimney connection landed him an invitation to the Chimney Safety Institute of America board of directors, where he has served since 2004.
“Before I was involved with this, chimney sweeps I knew were obviously part of the industry,” Adair said. “I didn’t realize the level of technical expertise that they really need to be to be successful in the job.”
As for CSIA certification, Adair is a believer.
“Certification has value,” Adair said. “It shows from multiple sources. On one hand it shows value because you are demonstrating you have knowledge and you have gone through a certain amount of training/expertise; it is a marketable resource because now you can show it, demonstrably. You can you show your customers ‘I have done this. And I believe in safety, I believe in knowledge, I believe in training. That takes them to the next level. I think a sweep in this industry definitely needs it.”
You can find a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep in your area very easily. Just search for one for free on CSIA website, where you can e-mail the individual, see a map and phone number and an address.