The Chimney Safety Institute of America is pleased to report that there are now more than 1,600 chimney sweeps in North America that carry our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® credential.
The number of CCS technicians is 8 percent higher than in December, and continues CSIA’s role as the go-to industry leader for chimney education and training.
“The CSIA certification is not easy to obtain, nor maintain,” said Ashley Eldridge, CSIA Director of Education. “But it is coveted, and it provides value to the chimney sweeps, to the companies that employ them, and to consumers.”
Eldridge said he is proud that the number of CCS sweeps has climbed from 1,485 in December to 1,614 in mid-July even though the exam is more difficult to master than in previous years.
The credential carries more weight, and it is more widely recognized than ever from a variety of influential organizations — from organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors to the Pennsylvania Attorney General, to Fireman’s Fund insurance. Fireman’s Fund produced a white paper to its policyholders on how to avoid being a victim of a chimney fire, using CSIA’s expertise to craft their document.
The CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® credential was established in 1983 as a method for homeowners to measure a chimney sweep’s technical expertise. The CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® trademark is a symbol of a sweep’s professionalism, understanding of, and dedication to their industry. Companies that use the trademark must have at least one certified individual on the job site performing or supervising the sweeping and/or inspection, according to CSIA’s Trademark Use guidelines. Those that get credentialed must sign the CSIA Code of Ethics, which promises the sweep will do right by the customer.
Some of the biggest benefits of CSIA certification, beyond the reputation enhancement, is the referrals that provides, as those with up-to-date certifications can be found on the CSIA website. The public can find a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep using our free zip-code locator on the website, which attracted over 950,000 page views in 2014.
Mark A. Stoner, president of CSIA, made increasing certification totals his goal in March 2014 during the National Chimney Sweep Guild annual convention. At the time, CSIA had about 1,400 certified chimney sweeps, and Stoner made it his goal to get to 1,900 — or higher. The CSIA board of directors estimates about 6,000 people work on chimneys in some capacity nationally.
CSIA certification is good for three years.
“We encourage chimney sweeps to get certified — whether they are newcomers enrolled in our National Chimney Sweep Training School, or veterans that are attending our 1-day review and exams, which are held across the country,” Stoner said. “And we encourage our certified professionals to renew every three years. They are doing so in great numbers because they know there is a real reliability in this credential. It tells the consumer that the sweep achieved the original and highest possible certification from a nonprofit organization that preaches best practices and sets a standard of care.”
How does a chimney sweep get certified? We answer that question here.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that people take a few steps when considering which chimney sweep will perform an annual inspection or related service on their chimney or vent. Because proper care and attention to service can help protect people from unnecessary fires and carbon monoxide poisonings, it is important to choose the professional wisely. While the CSIA recommends that people consider a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®, there are additional questions that should be asked to ensure that the person hired is a credible service technician.
You can find out more about “How to Hire a Chimney Sweep” here.