Chimney sweeping reform
Ordering chimney sweeping service
Chimney sweeping certificate
Errors in chimney sweeping work
Chimney sweeping reform
A shift to contract-based chimney sweeping will take place as of 1 July 2019. After this regional chimney sweeping contracts will expire and property owners will be able to choose independently where to get their chimney sweeping services.
Chimney sweeping will no longer be subject to fees set by rescue services. Instead, chimney sweeping companies will be allowed to set the prices of their services at their discretion. A chimney sweep will be required to give the customer price information in a clear and comprehensible manner.
After the change, regional chimney sweeps will no longer have exclusive rights to sweep chimneys and will no longer give advance notice of visits.
Booking a chimney sweep
A property owner will be able to choose where to get the needed chimney sweeping services. The fireplaces of a dwelling used as a permanent residence must be swept once a year and those of secondary residences must be swept at three-year intervals.
Before booking a chimney sweep it is worth ascertaining
- what companies offer chimney sweeping services in the area,
- what the basis for pricing used by the chimney sweep is, and what is the full price is. Chimney sweeping entrepreneurs are free to set the prices for their services, so there can be variation in the prices and pricing models of different businesses. The pricing can also depend on the time at which the service is provided. For example, prices for the evenings, weekends, or high season periods can differ from the basic price. It is also worth checking if the chimney sweep charges extra for travel.
- If it is possible for neighbours to make a joint booking for a chimney sweep, possibly lowering the cost.
Chimney sweeping may be carried out only by a professionally qualified chimney sweep with a professional degree, or by a master chimney sweep with a vocational qualification as a specialist. If necessary, a chimney sweep must be able to provide proof of his or her competence.
It is always a good idea to agree on the fee in writing.
A chimney sweep is obligated to give a customer a certificate attesting to the completion of a job.
The certificate must include
- an itemised description of what the price of a sweeping job includes,
- faults or shortcomings that increase the danger of a fire; these must be itemised in such a way that the required measures can be enacted on their basis.
On the basis of the chimney sweeping certificate it is also possible to evaluate if the content of the sweeping job corresponds to the demands that were set.
It is a good idea to save the chimney sweeping certificate for the next time to enable the chimney sweep to evaluate how the condition of the fireplace and the flue has developed.
Chimney sweeping is important in order to ensure that a fireplace and flue function correctly. Chimney sweeping also contributes to the prevention of chimney fires. Regular sweeping of fireplaces and flues enhances fire safety while reducing energy bills and environmental damage.
Errors in chimney sweeping
Chimney sweeping is a consumer service in which the chimney sweep must abide by good chimney sweeping practice.
The work must also meet the requirements set for chimney sweeping in the Rescue Act. If disagreements arise on what price has been agreed upon, the service provider must be capable of proving that the claim is correct.
If you are dissatisfied with the quality of the chimney sweeping service or if there is confusion about the price, the first step should always be to contact the company from which you ordered the sweeping job.
Make a complaint as soon as possible after noticing the error and try to negotiate suitable compensation. It is a good idea to make the claim in writing. You can use online help for filing a complaint.
Filing a complaint with a company
If your complaint to the company does not bring the desired result, contact the Consumer Advisory Services. The Consumer advice gives free guidance and mediation help in a conflict situation.
Consumer Advisory Service