Raising awareness of Chimney Sweeping, Carbon Monoxide and Fire Safety
HETAS and COCAA approved Association Working to raise Industry Standards
- To ensure the competence of its members as chimney sweeps.
- To raise the standards of the profession, and to move the industry forward.
- To raise the profile and professionalism of sweeps among customers.
- To update the knowledge of sweeps concerning relevant legislation and regulations, (e.g. health & safety, British and European standards, Building Regulations etc.)
- To update the knowledge of sweeps concerning techniques and equipment.
- To promote APICS to the public and other professional bodies.
- To educate the public about regular sweeping by an experienced and qualified sweep, the dangers of Carbon Monoxide and the risks concerning chimney fires.
In the first instant, any complaint should be made to the sweep involved, and this sweep should then try to resolve the matter in a satisfactory way.
If this procedure fails, APICS will consider any complaint if the complaint is in writing.
When a complaint is brought to the attention of APICS, three members (from a different area to the complaint) will be asked by the Chairman to investigate. The premises involved in the complaint will be visited and a full story of what happened will be taken from the complainant, and a full story will be taken from the sweep involved. These reports, together with a written report of any conclusions from the investigating sweeps will be brought to the next full meeting, when their decision would be made known.
If one of the investigating sweeps has to sweep the chimney to find out what has happened – so be it. Payment will be from the sweep if the complaint is upheld and from the complainant if the complaint is rejected. This should be made clear at the outset, to the customer and the sweep.
If either the sweep or the complainant wishes to appeal, the Chairman shall appoint an independent member of the profession to act as an adjudicator. This person should be in such a position to know all about chimneys and their problems. All paperwork pertaining to this complaint will be sent to the adjudicator. His decision would be final.
Code of Conduct
All members would be expected to adhere to the following code of conduct:
- To hold adequate public liability insurance.
- To give the public a reliable, efficient sweeping service.
- To ensure that APICS standards are maintained.
- To, at all times, carry sufficient equipment to complete the work they are employed to do.
- To take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of the customer and their premises.
- To ensure that premises are kept clean by using suitable equipment and an industrial vacuum.
- To ensure that the chimney has had a suitable brush passed through the entire length of the chimney (cowl permitting) and that all resulting soot has been removed.
- To fully inform the customer, in writing, of any problem that has been detected.
- To advise the customer/client of the importance of having a chimney swept to the requirements of BS EN 15287-1:2007 including the dangers of CO poisoning.
- Members are required to register as HETAS approved sweeps within 18 months of becoming full members.
- Members are expected to maintain records of work they have carried out (for at least 12 months) in case of any subsequent investigation in which APICS may be expected to play a role.
- Members are required to undergo a criminal record check.
Below is the basic requirement, a full list is available. Local conditions may dictate other equipment may also be needed.
Safety: Mask, earplugs, gloves, knee pads, overalls, eye wash and First Aid Kit.
Sweeping: Industrial Vacuum, dust sheets, torch, mirror, floor sheets, suitable tool bag, bags for soot/debris, tape or something appropriate to seal a grate and various rods and brushes (both of which are to be suitable for each job.)
A vehicle suitable for its purpose.
All equipment MUST be in a good and serviceable condition.
A ‘van check’ will be undertaken to ensure that the applicant for membership has the required minimum equipment.