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Code of Practice

The Approved Industry Standard for Chimney Sweeps.


Heritage Chimney Sweeping abides by the following Code of Practice.


Chimney Sweeps must be trained in accordance with the Industry Recommended Criteria of both theory and practice elements of chimney sweeping at an Industry Accredited Training Centre. They shall not practice the trade of a Chimney Sweep until they have been assessed and deemed competent by a trade organisation meeting the Industry Standard National Code of Practice.

It shall be the endeavour of the Chimney Sweep to provide as thorough and as honest a service available, with respect to the dangers of fire, suffocation and ill health caused by the malfunction of such chimneys, flue ways and appliances.

All Chimney Sweeps shall by virtue of the hidden nature of the task advise and work so as to keep the occupier, user or property owner aware of such faults and hazards found during working. Under no circumstances shall a person trading as a Chimney Sweep use any methods which result in a chimney not being properly cleaned or probed by a brush, or suitable rod attachments. Care must be taken to prove a chimney to be venting by the use of smoke pellets.

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Chimney Sweeping

  1. The practice of chimney sweeping shall be deemed to be the passing of an adequate sized brush, appropriate to the diameter of the chimney and flue used, through the complete length of the chimney. The brush may be put through by rods, viper & star, line & weights or rotary sweeping equipment.

  2. There is no acceptable method of cleaning a chimney using a vacuum cleaner only.

  3. A Chimney Sweep must ensure that they carry a sufficient number of rods, line & weights or viper to ensure that the brush will pass the length of the chimney or flue completely.

  4. Chimneys should be swept thoroughly with a brush or cleaning implement that is suitable to remove the products of combustion within the flue.

  5. Before any sweeping commences, the immediate floor area and fireplace opening/appliance and/or any access points must be protected using suitable sealing methods, such as sheeting and foam blocks, to keep mess to the absolute minimum before and during the sweeping process.

  6. All Chimney Sweeps must check that there is adequate ventilation and carbon monoxide alarms in all the rooms containing the flues and appliances they have worked on, as defined in the Current Building Regulations (Document J).

  7. All problems and faults found during sweeping shall be made known to the person with whom the sweeping contract is made, property owner or the operative of the appliance. All such problems and faults relating to the chimney or heating appliances shall be put in writing.

  8. The Chimney Sweep will endeavour to carry out a visual inspection of chimney stacks and flue terminations prior to the cleaning of such flues and appliances.

  9. The Chimney Sweep must not undertake work on any chimney or appliance that is deemed unsafe or dangerous (in accordance with the current Health & Safety at Work Act). Evidence of the defect will be put in writing.

  10. Soot from the sweeping process must be disposed of in an appropriate manner and will only be transported with the appropriate local authority's permission in the form of a waste carriage licence. Current COSHH statements must be carried in the vehicle.

  11. The Chimney Sweep must use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) whilst undertaking their work and be trained in its use.

  12. The Chimney Sweep must adhere to their trade bodies' complaints procedure.

  13. The Chimney Sweep must hold adequate insurance for the work they undertake.

  14. The Chimney Sweep must carry a valid I.D card.

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After a chimney has been swept, the Chimney Sweep must issue an Industry Standard Certificate of Sweeping. Should any defects or dangerous occurrences arise, they must be recorded, an Industry Standard Warning Notice and label be issued and records kept.

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