Safety of a Fireplace

The whole idea of a putting a steel box with a fire inside of it inside of a wood framed house is a little silly– but that is what we have been doing for over 80 years in the US.  This alone should call for a common sense annual chimney inspection.There are specific installation instructions provided with all modern wood burning stoves and fireplaces to ensure correct installation.  Every manufacturer has a different clearance to combustibles for their wood stove or fireplace. This makes the rules different for every factory built fireplace and wood stove installation. As you can see, chimney inspection is vital to a correctly installed fireplace.

Residential Chimney Inspection

National standards and the manufacturer of the stove or fireplace have completed private testing to determine the correct clearance to combustibles. This will be found on a sheet metal plate riveted to the body of the listed appliance. If you have this plate, it is probably a listed appliance. We must abide by the clearances indicated on the plate.

Fireplace and Chimney Inspections

The Fire Department’s code book for wood stoves and fireplaces has a name, the NFPA 211. It indicates that there are 3 different levels of inspections that may be done for a fireplace or wood stove. You can go to the code book source website here, NFPA 211We use this nationally recognized fuel code book as our controlling document at Midtown Chimney Sweeps. The three levels of chimney and fireplace inspection are labeled Level I, Level II, and Level III, and increase in their invasiveness as the numbers increase.

 Hidden Defects

Hidden construction defects of many types may exist, and may not be discovered using only a Level I or Level II Inspection. These inspections are not intended as a guarantee of safety or the absence of hazards of use, and no guarantee is implied.