The practice consists of:

Anybody calling and seeking the services of one of our Chimney Sweeps can be assured that the Chimney Sweep in question meets or indeed exceeds our minimum standard. All our sweeps are expected to offer advice on many issues concerning the safe operation of all solid fuel burners. He or She will advise where required on ventilation requirements, integrity of flue and any termination cowling. In obvious terms, solid fuel burning can be extremely dangerous if faults are present then it is the sweeps duty to spot potential dangers and help keep the consumer from harms way. Flues without a strong up draft after sweeping will be smoke tested where possible. Every Chimney Sweep Academy sweep will be able to prove their position through membership to the aforementioned association. If for any reason the consumer is not happy with the given standard of their chosen Academy sweep, they have a central point of complaint.

Customers using an Academy sweep have a reliable, trustworthy and knowledgeable means of having the periodic cleaning and inspection of their solid fuel burner/fireplace and flue leading through to correct type of cowling. All Chimney Sweep Academy sweeps will use the appropriate national standard certificate of completion. Where necessary, the sweep will issue a certificate concerning a dangerous appliance, an explanation of fault/s will also be issued and recorded.

The Chimney Sweep Academy National Standard consists of the following:

Training, practical assessment, theory assessment, Academy accreditation of training, sweeping practices and method, minimum tool kit including cleanliness of vehicle, safe working practices, prevention or limitation of contamination during sweeping, use of carbon monoxide detectors, building regulations and compliance issues, documentation and recording of works carried out, use of documentation including the reporting of unsafe an/or non-compliant situations, customer complaint procedures, waste disposal procedures, compliance with COSHH, proof of identity, PPE requirements and use, minimum insurance criteria.

If required, due to none compliance, Academy members may be required to undergo further training or risk removal from the Academy.

It must be stressed that Individual Chimney Sweeps who may not be members of the Chimney Sweep Academy may sometimes meet the Industry Standard.

Code of conduct.

Academy members must NOT renew any existing membership or begin another with any other association.

  1.  Customers will be treated with courtesy and spoken to politely at all times.
  2. All Chimney Sweep Academy approved sweeps will carry evidence of adequate and current insurance cover to a minimum of £2.500.000.
  3. Before entering premises a visual inspection will be made of the chimney stack/pipe and any caps or cowls as part of the risk assessment. The Chimney sweep will make a judgement as to the safety of sweeping the aforementioned so as to limit the chances of breakages and/or falls from height.
  4. All sweeps will use adequate ground sheets and fire fronts to limit any chances of soiling to premises.
  5. Any trailing wires, for example, from the vacuum to a mains socket will be shown to customer as part of a risk assessment to limit chances of trips and falls.
  6. The point of contact at the given premises will be asked if there is any ongoing problems with the appliance/fireplace before commencing sweeping.
  7. All Chimney Academy Sweeps inform the customer where necessary, the hazards of burning fires and the dangers to health/life where faulty appliances or fireplaces are used.
  8. All Chimney Sweeps will use a suitably sized brush with bristles/nylons in good condition with appropriate sized rods to clean the flue way. A sufficiently filtered vacuum will also be utilised (HEPA) at all times. Any faults found during the cleaning process will be reported to the home-owner/tenant,landlord. All flue ways will be deemed cleared of any obstructions by suitable draft and smoke testing.
  9. Any flue that is deemed unable to be swept will result in verbal explanation and a notice sticker placed on the given appliance as out of order. Reason/s for this will be recorded on the job record/certification sheets.
  10. Every effort shall be made to extract all soot deposits from the premises without soiling any surfaces. It must be stated here that the customer should also take sensible precautions to the protection of soiling to interior surfaces.
  11. All observations of flue condition will be passed on the customer, any negative observations will be recorded in the job completion certificate, with a copy given to the customer.

PROTECTIVE SAFETY

In order to protect their health, all Sweeps will carry respiratory protection, protective overall, protective gloves, site helmet and eye protection. The sweep must take all steps possible to limit airborne particles within his/her vehicle. A van with bulkhead is ideal but in other cases all soot, sheets and brushes must be bagged or kept within a sealed container for your their protection.

CERTIFICATION

After a chimney has been swept, the Chimney Sweep shall issue a Chimney Sweep Academy Certificate to the householder or property owner stating that a chimney has been swept in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Chimney Sweep Academy. A date for subsequent re-sweeping should be recommended. Any known defects will be recorded on the job completion certificate.

The customer should be guided where needed, to verify current membership by viewing the members page on the Academy website.

By being a Chimney Sweep Academy approved chimney sweep, you are bound by these terms and conditions. You agree and will follow all the above. You are fully responsible to for adequate insurance during your membership. Failure to comply may lead to suspension of membership.

Tools

Minimum working requirement and tools list for Academy members.

You must be working from a van of any size, preferably with a steel bulkhead for safety. This vehicle must display the Academy logo as supplied.

Working preferably from a van with bulkhead, if working from a van without bulkhead or even a car or MPV etc., paying very careful attention to the retention of dust particles from used ground and fire front sheets. These should be kept in separate containers.

Academy member vehicles should have the appropriate Academy logo displayed.

Certified job sheets.

Adequate selection of sweeping rods, these vary by manufacturer but allow for flues from 4” up to full size Inglenooks

Adequate selection of brush sizes for differing flue sizes, power sweeping requires fewer brush head sizes.

Suitable industrial vacuum with adequate filtration, HEPA is the general standard but it is recommended to have extra filtration added. It is not recommended to use a “Henry” type vacuum as filtration is very poor and also readily available to purchase by normal households can look unprofessional. Bigger does not mean better, consider the weight of the vacuum for handling purposes both empty and laden with soot.

Suitable face mask worn during sweeping duties.

Carbon Monoxide (separate page)

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, it’s so important you protect yourself from the awful affect of exposure. Make sure you have a detector installed in each room that there is a fuel burning appliance. An Academy sweep will be happy to advise.

The symptoms of exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide (CO) can be similar to those of many other conditions, such as food poisoning and flu. However, unlike flu, carbon monoxide poisoning does not cause a high temperature (fever).

  • The most common symptoms include:
  • headache
  • nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting
  • dizziness
  • tiredness and confusion
  • stomach pain
  • shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

 

High levels of exposure:

  • If you have breathed in high levels of carbon monoxide gas, it is likely that you will experience more severe symptoms. These may include:
  • impaired mental state and personality changes (intoxication)
  • vertigo – the feeling that you or the environment around you is spinning
  • loss of physical co-ordination, caused by underlying damage to the brain and nervous system
  • breathlessness and a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute)
  • chest pain caused by angina or a heart attack
  • seizures – an uncontrollable burst of electrical activity in the brain that causes muscle spasms

loss of consciousness – in cases where there are very high levels of carbon monoxide, death could occur within minutes!

For as low as £35 you can have a detector fitted and be left with piece of mind.

 

Preparation for your sweep

To ensure everything can be carried out in a timely fashion, please make sure that your stove or open fire is cleaned out and ready for your Chimney Sweep to carry out the job.

Make sure your stove or open fire has burned out the day before your Chimney Sweep is due.

If you have any concerns over furniture or other valuables the please feel free to move and cover them. The sweep would benefit from a clear area of around 2mtrs x 2mtrs square in front of your stove or fireplace. He/she will be very clean and careful in the carrying out of the sweep and will advise you of any other necessary preparations.

Make sure room lighting is turned on where required.

Please make sure any dogs are secure and other pets kept in a suitable safe place.

The Chimney Sweep will need to return once or twice to his van to fetch tools, so your door may be left ajar for short periods.

Finally, be ready to make a wish if you see the brush out the top of the chimney.