There have been many changes in recent years in the chimney sweeping industry. Historically chimney sweeps have been completely unregulated and the customer has been playing roulette with their choice of a sweep.
Recently a person died form carbon monoxide poisoning after commissioning a cowboy chimney sweep to sweep their chimney. He followed no protocol that would be accepted, did not perform a smoke evacuation test and did not complete vital safety checks.
In an attempt to safeguard the consumer and raise professional standards the Guild of Master chimney Sweeps and the National association of chimney sweeps have worked together on a new national standard which has been accepted by the vast majority of the professional chimney sweeping industry. This Standard unifies the sweeping certificates and documentation of both organisations. It also ensures that vital checks including those for smoke evacuation, ventilation and fire safety are carried out. Furthermore the standard sets a minimum requirement on training and basic equipment. This standard also ensures that potentially dangerous appliances and chimneys are condemned with a warning notice and a warning label attached.
Feedback from the professional part of the industry has been amazing and positive with full support from ESCHFOE the European chimney sweeping over seeing group.
So in short if you want a chimney sweep who you know meets this standard please do not be afraid to ask them.