Join the OCSA today and become a certified chimney sweep!
Why should a chimney sweep attend the OCSA convention?
- Receive the ongoing education CEU’s with the CCB!
- Become certified to be at the top of your trade!
- Learn about chimney liner installation!
- Learn about firebox and smoke chamber repairs!
- Learn about roofing flashing to masonry flashing integration and chimney weatherization!
- Receive trade secrets on specific educational aspects of sales!
- Learn about local changes said by the EPA!
- When you become a certified sweep you will be more effective in your profession to educate your customers and keep homes safe!
A message from the president, Louis Lee:
“When I was a very young chimney sweep, my father brought me to the Oregon Chimney Sweep Association to learn more about the technology of fireplace chimneys. He gave me the OCSA study guide. It contained local and international building codes NFPA 211, NFPA 54. At first this was all very overwhelming. There was so many things to know and understand. The great thing was the other members were there to help me learn. I thought they were going to be judgmental on my lack of experience and understanding of fireplaces and chimneys. It was the exact opposite. I found myself being coached and mentored from chimney sweeps with 40+ years experience. They would draw sketches on paper and explain things in great detail. The first thing I learned was the clearance to combustible specs of a masonry fireplace and chimney. My fathers company did a lot of rebuilding of old chimneys so I felt it was something I could grasp, I had torn them apart and helped rebuild them supplying bricks and mortar to his masons. I began to learn the reasons for using different brick types and mortar mixes around the fireplace opening and how certain additives gave fireboxes and smoke chambers insulating values. I memorized all the clearance to combustible specs and dimensions of a fireplace construction, until I could visualize the 3D print of a fireplace chimney. These lessons were reinforced by members of the OCSA, many old chimney sweeps admired a young man entering the trade. We always have such great hands-on classes. Taking apart old wood stoves, pellets stoves and gas fireplaces. I learned about chimney liners, chimney caps and all the safety and health risks associated to the trade. The next year I wanted to take the certification test to become an OCSA certified chimney sweep. I studied for about a month before I took the certification test. I used a little dictionary to clear the definitions of new terms and it helped greatly. At the convention I passed the test my first try. 100 multiple choice answer questions all about fireplace and chimneys. I passed with an 84%. I realize I learned so much, but I still had more to learn. After just one year I could see how before attending the OCSA, I was a blind chimney sweep. Because you can only see what you are aware of. I have learned so much from joining the brotherhood of the OCSA”.
Certification is open to anyone actively doing business as a chimney sweep or having an interest in the chimney and venting service or hearth products industries.
The OCSA credential is acknowledged by industry organizations, insurance underwriters, local state construction contractors board, home inspectors, realtors, property management groups and other agencies. The OCSA certification is as measure of a chimney sweep’s knowledge about the international building code, NFPA 211 and NFPA 54. With full comprehension of these codes, a proper evaluation and maintenance of a chimney and venting system can be executed. When your potential client judges your knowledge against your competitor, the credentials you have earned will speak volumes. To ensure the continued integrity of the credentials in an ever-changing world, OCSA regularly updates its training, education, and manuals. An OCSA certified chimney sweep believes in ongoing training, education and ethics – not shortcuts.
OCSA certified professionals enjoy benefits including:
- Professional credibility among clients and competitors.
- Regional recognition of your accomplishment.
- Your own listing on the OCSA website.
- The right to use the OCSA Certified Chimney Sweep in your advertising and on vehicles.
- Professional representation among and referrals from affiliated industries (Realtors, home inspectors, oil heating service managers, firefighters, home builders, etc.)
- Marketing and public relations materials designed to enhance your professional image.
- Certification is recognized by the state fire Marshall’s office.
All new companies joining the OCSA can take the OCSA certification test, which is a one hour timed, 100 question multiple choice answer exam. This exam tests a sweeps knowledge on IRC Building Code specs for a masonry fireplace chimney, clearance to combustibles, pneumatic calculations and NFPA 211 specs, etc. The cost for the exam in $150 and includes a study guide. A score of 80% is passing and the sweep will receive a certificate of achievement and OCSA certified sweep badge.
Oregon Chimney Sweeps Assoc.
C/O Hillary Hess
540 N. James St.
Silverton, OR 97381