Chimney inspections. WETT certified. CSIA certified.
If you have a fireplace in your home you know the benefits associated with a fireplace. Not only is it a source of home heating, if properly installed, but it is also a nice place to retire to when the weather is cold. Snuggling up in front of a roaring fire can be a relaxing and warming experience.
However, there are a few things you should do to make sure that the fireplace is safe to use. Just like any other heating source for the home a fireplace requires regular inspections and maintenance to ensure safety and efficiency. The U.S. Fire Administration states that heating fires account for 36 percent of residential home fires in rural areas every year. Often these fires are due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes.
Regular maintenance and inspections are the keys to a safe season of use.
In this brief article we will have a look at:
- Regular cleaning
- Annual inspection of chimney and damper
- Who or what is WETT (Canada) or CSIA (US)
The entire system, chimney, smoke shelf and hearth, should be cleaned regularly by a professional. Only an experienced chimney sweep has the proper tools and equipment to ensure that no soot or dust will enter the home during the cleaning process.
ANNUAL INSPECTION OF CHIMNEY AND DAMPER
Depending on the range of services, some sweeps are WETT (Canada) or CSIA (US) certified and offer inspections of the chimney, interior flue and check attic spaces for any damaged areas that will need repair.
Do not get a WETT/CSIA inspection alone! Items covered in soot and creosote can not be inspected. You must, for safety sake, have a WETT/CSIA certified sweep clean the entire chimney and the firebox prior to using any wood burning appliance. After a proper cleaning and inspection the sweep can issue the WETT/CSIA certificate.
Beware: Not all chimney inspectors or chimney sweeps in Canada are WETT certified. The same goes for the US, not everybody is CSIA certified. Always ask for credentials before engaging the services of a chimney inspector or chimney sweep.
WHAT OR WHO IS WETT or CSIA?
WETT (Wood Energy Technical Training program). WETT trains people who wish to get involved with the sale, installation, inspection and maintenance of wood heating appliances. Once people complete the training program and acquire enough experience, they become WETT certified in the specific area for which they sought training. WETT certification implies that they have met the educational and experience requirements.
CSIA. Chimney inspectors in the US are often certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). But again, there is no national requirement that they be certified. Click on logo to the left for more CSIA information.
MORE FIREPLACE INFORMATION
Creosote, safe disposal of ashes, child guard shields
Six ways to cure a smoky fireplace
Never burn .....................