ATLANTA, Georgia — You have to wear multiple hats when you exhibit at a trade show featuring firefighters from all areas of the country, first-responders that represent large metropolitan populations as well as tiny towns. Some are full-time departments; others are volunteer.

The multiple hats are necessary because attendees here at the Fire-Rescue International Show all have different concerns or needs to be met.

And the Chimney Safety Institute of America is here to serve ALL of them, believe it or not.

For starters, CSIA is different than most exhibitors. The job is to represent chimney sweeps and dryer exhaust technicians; other booths people are selling respirators, full-body decontamination towels, t-shirts and — yes, education.

For starters, we’re making sure they know about the vision statement of CSIA — that every family enjoys a safe, warm home. Some people asked about hiring a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. We showed firefighters (and their loved ones) how easy it is to use our free zip-code locator at 

We provided tchotchkes that ingrained our message to the old and to the very young.

Boys shining their ccs and c-det smashlights.

A Madison, Alabama fire department captain on Friday told me (unsolicited) that he was pleased by Chimney Safety Institute of America’s presence, because we answered loads of chimney fire questions: “Glad to see you all have a booth here. This is definitely stuff that firefighters have to deal with.”

Dustin Spires, attendee.

We passed out many chimney sweep figurines — effective conversation starters about the chimney/venting industry’s precious history and bright future. 


Chimney sweep figurines, which we purchased (at a generous discount) from Wohler.

Thanks especially to Art Schlagen of Indiana and Blake Crocker of North Carolina who recently (and separately) earned their CSIA C-DET Dryer Exhaust Credential. Both are firefighters and allowed us to use their photo on two C-DET specific tradeshow backdrops. (The more the  merrier when it comes to better-trained professionals in the U.S., because the customer wins!)

Art Schlagen of Rescue Duct (left) and Blake Crocker of Smoke Alert (right).

We established, hopefully, relationships that will serve the purpose of providing homeowners with awareness. Several departments graciously agrees to try out CSIA’s “After The Fire” brochure, meant to educate chimney fire victims. There are a lot of fires that affect homes and businesses, and this fact sheet helps in their knowledge of what to do next. 

Several firefighters were excited to hear about CSIA’s certification opportunities, especially in areas where they reside that lacks one of our certified pros for 50 miles or greater!

Brochures on the table included “After The Fire” and also advertise our credentials — CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician.

This is the last show of the 2014-15 budget season for CSIA that has included insurers (September, NAMIC in MD), home inspectors ;NAHI in Pittsburgh, ASHI in Philly, InspectorLab in Vegas), hearth professionals (HPBA in Nashville), and air duct cleaners (NADCA in Marco Island.) 

Have any questions? Want a copy of our brochures? Ask at

-Tom Spalding