It’s National Chimney Safety Week, and we at the Chimney Safety Institute of America are sounding the alarm about scammers who may try to prey on consumers’ lack of expertise when it comes to chimneys and how they operate in your home. As winter approaches, so do scam artists trying to take your money for chimney-cleaning services they are not trained to provide.

Today is the last of the four most-common scams that we’ll be spotlighting here at the blog this week.

Scam #4: Faked credentials

We talk a lot about the importance of hiring a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep when you schedule the annual inspection of your home’s chimneys. Certified sweeps have earned the industry’s most respected credential but only by passing rigorous exams on fire codes, clearances and standards for the construction and maintenance of chimneys and venting systems and by agreeing to abide by CSIA’s strict Code of Ethics.

Given the stature that comes with certification, it’s not surprising to learn that scammers will try to misuse its trademark and present themselves as someone they are not.

Every CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep carries a photo ID marked with his or her individual CSIA credential, so ask to see it. We’ve posted the credential trademark image with this article so that you can familiarize yourself with it, too.

It’s also important to know that companies using the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep trademark on their websites or vehicles must have at least one CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep on jobsite when you hire them, even on an inspection. Confirm with your service company that a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep will be a part of the team performing your work.

This completes our weeklong look at the most popular chimney scams. We hope you’ll be able apply the information we’ve shared as you schedule your annual chimney inspection and sweeping.

Read Scam #3: Falsified experience

Read Scam #2: Emergency repairs

Read Scam #1: Pricing tricks