There is no doubt about it: winter is here! If you have a wood burner or open fire, you are probably making the most of cosy nights by the fire. However, it is important that you stay safe and get your chimney swept at least once a year.
Finding a chimney sweep can be hard, particularly in a day and age where there seems to be a surplus of chimney sweeps around! Unlike most trades, such as plumbing and electrics, chimney sweeping is not heavily regulated. This means that it can be hard knowing who to trust.
As you continue to use your fire, soot builds up in the flue. This is highly combustible and can catch alight, causing a fire within your chimney. In addition, during the summer months when your fire is not being used, debris from birds’ nests can be deposited in your chimney, posing a fire risk. Blockages such as fire residue, twigs and birds’ nests also affect the draw of your fire, meaning that less smoke is drawn up the chimney and out of your house. If this happens, undetectable amounts of carbon monoxide will be released into your home, which is potentially lethal. Annual chimney cleaning can prevent fire and carbon monoxide poisoning; it will also help you to make sure that your insurance policy is valid.
But how do you go about finding a chimney sweep that you trust? Aside from making sure that your chimney sweep is listed on TrustATrader.com, we look at how you should hire your chimney sweep. Before you hire your chimney sweep, ask the following questions:
- Are they relevantly qualified and certified with a company such as HETAS or the Institute of Chimney Sweeps?
- How long have they been working as a chimney sweep?
- Do they have references?
- Do they have good reviews on Trust A Trader?
- Is the company insured?
- Are they able to provide you with a safety certificate?
- Are practitioners Gas Safe registered?
Of course, the best way to choose any trader, including a chimney sweep, is to ask around for recommendations of reliable chimney sweeps. By taking a look at reviews for chimney sweeps on Trust A Trader you can get a good idea of the standards of service that you can expect, including cleanliness, reliability and timekeeping. This will help you to keep your home warm and safe, even on the coldest nights.