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While the idea that you must get your chimney swept annually isn’t the worst advice ever, it gives a false sense of security and it simplifies what should be done every year. A sweep removes creosote – the black build-up on the inside walls of your chimney liner that can catch fire – but there’s more to maintaining your chimney’s performance than simply cleaning it.

An annual inspection of your chimney and it’s connected systems is what is prescribed by the National Fire Protection Association’s 211 standard and what CSIA teaches. That inspection will inform a properly trained technician what cleaning and maintenance is required to operate your chimney safely.

That inspection – and what results from it – is your protection against chimney fires and potential carbon monoxide poisoning brought on from an improperly venting fireplace.

Find a Certified Chimney Sweep® in your area at www.csia.org.

Learn more about National Chimney Safety Week at www.chimneysafetyweek.org.