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Inspection Level Descriptions

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s 211 (Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances) is the standard upon which CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps base their services. This new standard now classifies chimney and venting system inspections into three levels—Level I, Level II or Level III. Each level of inspection has a specific scope of work and specific criteria.


Level I Visual Inspection
This visual inspection is included in a chimney cleaning. We recommended this type of visual inspection when the chimney and venting system is easily accessible and when the homeowner is planning to maintain its current use. In general, this the level of inspection performed in most homes. In a Level I inspection verifies that the chimney structure is sound and that the chimney is free of obstructions and combustible deposits, such as creosote.


Level II Visual Inspection
A Level II visual inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property or after an operating malfunction or external event that is likely to have caused damage to the chimney. The scope of a Level II inspection includes that of the Level I inspection plus the inspection of accessible portions of the attics, crawl spaces and basements.This is an inspection of the readily accessible portions of the firebox, flue and chimney, as they exist at the time of the inspection. Due to the inaccessibility of the internal components of the fireplace, client will be advised to obtain a Level III Video Camera Inspection.


Level III Video Camera Inspection
When a Level I or Level II inspection suggests a hidden hazard and the evaluation cannot be performed without access to concealed areas, a Level III video camera inspection is recommended. A Level III Video Camera Inspection, inspects all internal components of the fireplace in order to more accurately determine the condition of the fireplace. Level III inspections are generally necessary when investigating an incident that has caused damage to a chimney or building, or where a hazard is detected and suspected.

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