5 SURPRISING Facts About Real-Life Chimney Sweeps

Forget Mary Poppins, modern-day sweeps are light years away from the traditional stereotypes many people have about our trade.

Here’s just five surprising facts about sweeping in the 21st Century:

#1 We Help Keep The Air Clean for EVERYONE

Modern sweeps don’t just clean the chimney, they also give fireplace users advice on how to burn in an environmentally-responsibly way.

Through campaigns such as Burnright, they advise on what fuels to burn, how to burn them, how to use their appliance and also how often the flue and appliance should be swept and serviced.

This advice, in turn, helps reduce emissions and therefore keep the air we breathe as clean as possible for absolutely everyone, regardless if they have real fireplace or not.

#2 Our Equipment Is More Than Just Rods & Brushes

While still a staple of their kit, many professional chimney sweeps these days also use rotary sweeping systems which can remove hardened soot, tar and bird nesting materials in a much more efficient fashion.

In addition, many professional sweeps use CCTV inspection cameras to look inside chimneys for big defects and hi-tech pressure testing equipment to check flues for leaks.

More recently, many have started using drones, to check chimney stacks and terminals which would usually require scaffold or cherry picker access – making it cheaper, quicker and safer!

#3 It Involves Quite a Lot of Maths and Science

Getting a chimney to work involves a delicate balance of maths and science.

From flue, opening and air vent sizing to understanding draught, stack effect and differential pressure, all these elements have to be in harmony for a fireplace to function as it should.

Luckily, there are plenty of textbooks and online resources to refer to, and these come in very handy, especially when trying to troubleshoot.

#4 It’s Not Just A Job – It’s A Full Career

With it being a very niche trade, many sweeps are absolutely passionate about what they do. To them, it’s not just a job, it’s a full career.

That’s why, at Mr Soot, we’ve devised our very own Training Academy Programme.

The programme shows a broad career path, ongoing learning and career progression. So when sweeps join us, they don’t treat it like job. We invest in them, and they invest in themselves.

Together, it makes for very happy employees providing a top quality service.

#5 And You Can Even Get A Formal Qualification In Chimney Sweeping!

As part of the Mr Soot Training Academy Programme, we help colleagues work towards attaining a National Vocational Qualification in Chimney Sweeping.

This consists of a profiling interview and an on-site observation.

However, to get to this stage at Mr Soot, you have to demonstrate that you have the requisite knowledge and commitment to Continued Professional Development (CPD).

This would including taking and passing exams with the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, HETAS and/or OFTEC as a minimum.

Want to find out more about becoming a chimney sweep? Visit www.chimneysweepcareers.co.uk

Published by Mr Soot Chimney Sweep

We are registered chimney sweeps serving large parts of the North West of England. Members of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, we have HETAS Approved Sweep status and are registered solid fuel installers.

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