CREIA Cautions That Chimneys Need Professional Inspecting To Avoid Fires

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January 2006 (Palm Springs, Calif) — The California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) cautions homeowners and potential home buyers to make sure their chimneys and fireplaces are in safe working order by retaining the services of a professional home inspector. A proper evaluation could save your home from a catastrophic structure fire and possibly save someone's life. The chimney condition in your attic, as reported by a qualified home inspector, is not a matter to be dismissed. While there are numerous types of fireplace/chimney systems which all should be routinely inspected, a couple of the more problematic systems/conditions are:

Serious safety concerns arise whenever there is an improperly installed or damaged fireplace or chimney system. Charred wood and other indications of heat exposure can be easily detected within the attic space. To ensure adequate clearance and proper installation within your attic, have the chimney evaluated by professional home inspector with the expertise in this area, or by a certified fireplace & chimney inspector to make sure your system complies with all pertinent fire safety requirements. These professionals are familiar with problems, specifications and code requirements pertaining to all types of fireplaces, inserts, and wood-burning stoves. The most important part of fire safety is to consult the appropriate expert. When chimney conditions are suspect, the services of a professional are imperative.

Make sure you retain the services of a qualified inspector who is trained and experienced in home inspection and is a member of a professional association such as CREIA. Since 1976, CREIA, a non-profit voluntary membership organization has been providing education, training, and support services to the real estate inspection industry and to the public. Inspectors must adhere to CREIA's Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed by the association. These Standards of Practice have been recognized by the State of California, and are considered the source for Home Inspector Standard of Care by the real estate and legal communities.

CREIA requires its members to successfully pass a written test of property systems and complete 30 hours of education each year. Members can accumulate credits through various sources of education including monthly chapter meetings, conferences, and other approved activities. CREIA keeps records to ensure that members are complying with the requirements. Educational topics cover a variety of technical subjects including updates and advances that affect property inspection and the business of real estate inspection.

CREIA is dedicated to consumer protection and education. To locate a qualified CREIA inspector near you click here or call CREIA at (800) 388-8443.