NFPA Chimney Inspections


Chimney inspections are important to identify any potential fire, health, and structure damage risks that may be present in your home. The certified chimney professionals from Chief Chimney Services in Long Island know how important annual inspections are for homeowners to receive. Unfortunately, Chief has also witnessed the consequences when homeowners rationalized that they don’t need an inspection or procrastinated at having the repair recommendations performed.

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Whether you live in Long Island or anywhere else, it is for your own protection that you follow the recommendations from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and have a professional inspect your chimney. The key word is “professional”. The worst case scenario is you to pay someone who just claims to be able to inspect your chimney and you think you are safe, and then experience the unthinkable because the person you did business with was not qualified to perform the inspection. How does a homeowner know what should be included in a proper inspection? The NFPA instituted guidelines for homeowners and inspectors.

When it came to determining what components were to be inspected and the appropriate inspection for the homeowner’s circumstances, prior to 2000, homeowners we left at the mercy and judgement of the person conducting their inspection. In January of 2000, the National Fire Protection Association defined and standardized what inspections should include. These standards can be found in code NFPA 211 (Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances). There are three levels of inspection and each has a very clear definition for the inspector and homeowner, alike.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has included a detail explanation of each of the three levels of inspections along with guidelines when each is appropriate on their website. Click here to view those videos.

Both the CSIA and NFPA are very clear that homeowners have an annual chimney inspection by a CSIA certified technician performed every year before you begin to use your heating system. Inspections can be best performed in the summertime when the chimney and furnace are not in use and weather conditions make a visual inspection easier. However, inspections can be performed throughout the year weather permitting.

If your inspector does find an issue or issues that need to be addressed, it is important to take care of the repairs promptly. Inadequately functioning chimneys and their components can lead to fire hazards, toxic gas poisoning, as well as water damage to the interior and exterior of your home. And if there were ever a time to be proactive, it is when your family’s health and safety are at stake.

It is our recommendation to you that you review the three levels of inspections and discuss your need for a proper inspection with your CSIA certified chimney professional. If you live in Long Island, Chief Chimney Service is available to answer all your questions and perform the proper inspection following NFPA standards. If you don’t live in Chief’s service area consult the CSIA website, Angie’s List, and the BBB to find a qualified inspector.



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