As some of you may have heard, Angie’s List recently posted an article on its website and social media pages “instructing” homeowners on how to inspect and clean their own chimneys. CSIA strongly felt that the content of this article, originally written by a representative of ServPro (a home cleaning and fire restoration company), was negligent and potentially dangerous to consumers.
CSIA crafted an official response to Angie’s List that was cosigned by several industry organizations, including the National Chimney Sweep Guild, The Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild, The New York State Chimney Sweep Guild, The Mid-Atlantic Chimney Association, and the Pennsylvania Chimney Sweep Guild.
At this time, the link to the original DIY article now leads to a new page which explicitly encourages homeowners to hire professionals, specifically CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps, for chimney/fireplace inspections and cleanings.
This just goes to show that a passionate and respectful response from an industry as niche as chimney sweeping, can affect real change!
A copy of the response letter CSIA sent to Angie’s List executives can be found here: https://chimneysafety.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/angies-list-response-pdf.pdf
About the author: Jordan Whitt is the current Director of Communications and Marketing for the Chimney Safety Institute of America and a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. Outside of the CSIA, you’ll occasionally find him doing some public affairs work for the American Red Cross or Indiana Department of Homeland Security. You can email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.