The Chimney Safety Institute of America has a special surprise waiting for attendees at the Excellence in Journalism convention to be held in Orlando, Florida Sept. 18-20.

In over 1,400 convention tote bags will be a business card with CSIA’s logo, and a chimney figurine zip-tied to it, with the phrase “Little Sweep, Giant Mission” on the front.

On the back? A promotion of CSIA’s National Chimney Safety Week, to be held Sept. 27-Oct. 3. The hashtag reads #SafeWarmHome in recognition of this year’s theme, which is built off of our Vision Statement. CSIA believes everyone should enjoy a safe, warm home.

Staff members at CSIA’s 10,000-square-foot headquarters in Plainfield, Indiana, spent two days assembling the items. We also discussed the potential impact of a positive reaction/reception to the idea from the media and journalism educators. The Excellence in Journalism 2015 conference is billed as the “journalism event of the year” and will be host to top news professionals from broadcast, print and digital newsrooms around the country, according to its website description.

They are newsroom decision makers, leaders, station managers, reporters, producers, content managers, editors, freelancers and educators.

VIDEO: Watch our how-we-made-it story for #EIJ15.

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We hope attendees see our trinket and go to our special online page,; do a story or refer a colleague to do a story; be moved to locate the CSIA certified professional in their city, and do a story; or, perhaps, they’ll do nothing more than tweet a picture of the chimneyman along with the #safewarmhome hashtag.

While attention-seeking, this is no gimmick by CSIA. Television and print reporters are our allies in accomplishing CSIA’s public safety mission in reducing the number of unwanted fires.

PREVIOUS: Consumer Product Safety Commission latest figures for chimney fires. 

Since CSIA has over 1,600 CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps working in 48 U.S. states, it’s a worthwhile and newsworthy story that any reporter can do, to help readers or watchers of its news. (We also hope it demonstrates commitment that we work hard to make a valuable credential worth the investment to our pros!)

National Chimney Safety Week in the United States is Sept. 27-Oct. 3; it occurs just before NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 4-10.

If you are a reporter, go to for more!

Tom Spalding