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Why Your Chimney Needs to Be Inspected

The Chimney Safety Institute of America and a number of other fire safety organizations recommend that chimneys be inspected annually and maintained as needed to ensure that homeowners are protected from potential fires as well as carbon monoxide poisoning. Heating equipment such as fireplaces and dryers account for 18 percent of reported home fires—the second highest after cooking, reports the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). More than half of the home fires that originate in a fireplace, chimney, or chimney connector are caused because they weren’t cleaned properly. An inspection by one of the certified team members at Pozzi Chimney Sweep will reveal if your chimney holds any hidden dangers.

The 3 Levels of Chimney Inspections Explained

There are three levels of chimney inspection, with the first being a cursory look at the condition of your chimney and the third being an intensive analysis of your chimney.

Your chimney sweep will be able to advise you about which type of inspection your chimney should receive depending on a number of factors. Below is an explanation of the three levels of inspections and what services your chimney service technician should provide for each level as defined by the NFPA 211:

  • Level 1 Inspection: This first inspection level involves only what the naked eye can see of your chimney. These inspections are recommended if your appliance or your venting system has not changed and you plan to use your system as you have in the past. Level 1 inspections are also recommended if your chimney is under continued service and your conditions have not changed. During this inspection, our chimney service technician will check out the readily accessible portions of your chimney’s exterior and interior as well as the accessible portions of the appliance and the chimney connection. We will look for basic soundness of your chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. We’ll also verify that your chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits.
  • Level 2 Inspection: This level of inspection incorporates the Chim-Scan camera and is required if changes have been made to your chimney (such as a change in fuel type, changes to the shape of, or material in, the flue, or the replacement or addition of an appliance of a dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency), if you have just sold or transferred a property, or after an operation malfunction or external event (such as a building fire, chimney fire, seismic or weather event) that is deemed likely to have caused damage to the chimney.
  • Level 3 Inspection: This level of inspection involves doing demolition and physically getting inside of a wall to check clearances. This inspection includes all the areas and items checked in a Level 1 and a Level 2 inspection, but also requires the removal of components like the chimney crown or interior chimney wall so that we can gain access to areas that are the subject of the inspection. This level of inspection is generally done when serious hazards are suspected.

Schedule your chimney inspection with Pozzi Chimney Sweep today by calling 815-286-9922. For scheduling tips, click here.


If  your chimney or fireplace need some repair or rebuilding, Pozzi Chimney Sweep can provide those services.



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My fireplace smelled strange, and because I knew I hadn’t had it cleaned in forever, I looked for a service online and Gary’s came up. He came out and inspected the firebox and said that I needed a new chase cover on the chimney. He ordered me a stainless steel one that he had fabricated somewhere and brought it out later and installed it and did a real nice job. He called me a number of times and kept me informed about what he was doing … I hired the right guy.
~ Steve Bell, Sugar Grove, IL