Many times we get calls from customers who have not used their fireplace since they moved into their home. In some cases these customers moved into their home years ago while others have just lived in the home a couple weeks. In either case if your chimney has not been inspected or you are unaware of the condition of your chimney it should be inspected by a CSIA certified technician for safety. We recently went to a home in Kansas City where the homeowner had lived in the home for close to 15 years and decided that she wanted to start using her fireplace so she called us out to complete a camera inspection. During the inspection our CSIA certified technicians found 3 main concerns; the top 3 feet of the chimney had loose brick, instead of a cap a screen was used (this is helpful in keeping birds out but still allows water, debris, and insects to enter the chimney), they also found that there were several big cracks and gaps in the flue. Gaps and cracks found in a flue are very dangerous to those living in the home as they allow exhaust to enter into the home. Having a CSIA certified technician to complete an inspection on your chimney is important, as they are trained to look for safety and maintenance issues such as the ones found at the Kansas City home. Certified technicians are versed in the codes that will help protect you and your chimney. They complete on going trainings throughout the year to be sure they are aware of any changes in code. A certified technician has been trained to look out for the best interest of the homeowner, being sure that your safety is always their first priority.