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Essential Tips from National Chimney Safety Week 2020


The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) sponsors National Chimney Safety Week each year. The focus is on ensuring that your home fires are safe. The number one way to prevent a chimney fire, home damage, and possible loss of life when using your hearth appliance is by having your chimney inspected before lighting that first fire during the cold season. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) joins with CSIA in recommending annual chimney inspections. However, not just any inspection will do. Always schedule a chimney inspection with a CSIA-Certified chimney sweep.

Why are Chimney Inspections Important?

Getting an annual chimney inspection is essential for safety. The alternative to having a chimney inspection is to use your hearth appliance without knowing if it's safe to do so. Chimneys are highly vulnerable to damage. A damaged chimney can be a dangerous chimney. It is often necessary to have a chimney inspection for early signs of deterioration and damage to be detected. Catching chimney problems early is a good way to cut home maintenance costs and keep your home and family safer.

The reason you’ll want a CSIA-Certified chimney sweep is to ensure that the professional you have hired has the training needed to do the job right. You may need a Level 1 chimney inspection, a Level 2 chimney inspection, or a Level 3 chimney inspection. The Level 1 chimney inspection has steps that are included in Level 2 and Level 3 inspections, as well.

Level 1 Chimney Inspection

In a Level 1 chimney inspection, your certified chimney sweep will visually observe all accessible parts of the chimney, fireplace, and venting system. This basically means that no tools are needed to access an area of the chimney. It is important to have a qualified chimney sweep, because, otherwise, they would not have the know-how to spot a problem that typically only an expert could identify.

Level 2 Chimney Inspection

With Level 2 chimney inspections, a special video camera is used to check on the condition of the chimney liner from top to bottom. If there is even the slightest crack in a chimney flue, repair or chimney flue replacement becomes necessary. Also, a fireplace or wood stove should not be used again until any breaches in the chimney liner have been repaired or the liner has been replaced.

Level 3 Chimney Inspection

When a Level 3 chimney inspection is needed, it means invasive work is required to determine the true condition of the chimney masonry and/or the chimney liner. This type of chimney inspection involves masonry teardown and rebuild in many cases.  

The Lowdown on Dirty Chimneys

Dirty chimneys with layers of flammable creosote create a heightened risk of chimney fires. Chimney fires tend to be destructive. If there are layers of creosote inside a chimney and a chimney fire starts, that creosote acts as fuel that keeps the fire ablaze. Creosote is a combustion byproduct of wood fires that is deposited inside chimney liners. These kinds of chimney fires typically destroy chimney liners, resulting in dangerous house fires. If you keep a clean chimney, you are likely to avoid the dangers associated with dirty ones.

National Chimney Safety Week 2020 and You

According to experts, chimney fires are preventable. By regularly cleaning your chimney and minimizing creosote buildup, you are likely to avoid hazardous chimney fires. Scheduling annual chimney inspections is also paramount to chimney safety. Contact Clean Sweep Chimney Service if you live in the St. Louis metro area. We are CSIA-Certified, and we’ve been conducting Level 2 chimney inspections using internal chimney video equipment longer than anyone in the state. Give us a call today.