Safety Inspection

The most important thing to know about the safety inspection process for your fireplace is that any report you receive is the opinion of the person who inspected your fireplace. It has been our observation based on the calls we receive and the second opinions we provide nearly everyday that many so called safety inspections are simply tools (mostly involving scare tactics) to try to improve the profits of the company rather than make any real improvements to the fireplace. Does the technician doing the inspection of the fireplace work on commission? Almost all large chimney sweeping companies in the USA use the commission model to get there technicians to sell every thing possible and to make the story as grim as possible in doing so. These companies have every right to their opinion, just as the customer has every right to seek other opinions. Citing publications like NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 211 which issue GUIDELINES and RECOMMENDATIONS and not actual building codes is a well known technique used to scare homeowners into performing what most of the time is unnecessary work. It is also not well known that there also are no building codes that must be applied to any part of an existing completed home including the fireplace. The codes are written to be adhered to DURING the building process and usually can be revisited up to a year after construction is complete and all permits are signed off by the various building inspectors. After that the decision to bring a property up to “code” or any other standard is strictly the decision of the owner of the property (of course this does not include gross or willful negligence or intent to deceive).

Another opinion to be careful about is when someone tells you not to use a fireplace until it is repaired or you will risk significant danger. I cannot tell you how many times we come into contact with a homeowner that has been using a 30 or 40 year old fireplace with existing liner for many years without problems, only to completely stop because of some one’s “opinion” of their fireplace. Did something really change or is there really a problem that negates all the past successful use of the fireplace? Did this opinion come from a visual inspection(with or without a video camera) only? Was a draft test performed? How about a positive pressure smoke test, was that performed? Level 2 inspections using “a camera or other means” are excellent ways of finding possible problems that may need further testing and evaluation, but are most often used to show people pictures of the inside of their chimney that the technician wants to use to sell a chimney liner or other profit generating products like parging (coating on the inside of) a smoke chamber. Here is a little tip—There are NO good pictures of anything inside your chimney when somebody is trying to sell you something.

We also frequently see inspection reports(opinions) and work proposals for many thousands of dollars that do not even address existing problems that originally prompted the homeowner to get a service call, the technician had incorrectly diagnosed a visible defect because of lack of knowledge.

At Chimney Mischief we treat each home individually. We inspect it based on our over fifty years of experience and we have no one that works on commission or has any motive other than to educate you as best we can about your particular fireplace so that you may enjoy it for as long as you are in the home.

And you know, we sleep very well at night after a honest day’s work.

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Chimney Mischief
2064 Briarcliff Rd.
Suite 109
Atlanta Ga 30329
(404) 377-1254 ‎

Atlanta’s Chimney Company:

We are the chimney company in Atlanta, GA that you can rely on for honesty and reliability. Our Atlanta chimney sweeps have many years of experience in the chimney and fireplace industry. Call us today and get a consultation about your chimney maintenance or custom chimney construction needs. We also service Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Marietta, and the surrounding areas.