Looking to install a brand-new fireplace into your home? Or how about crossing-off repairing the fireplace in your living room from your to-do list? When it comes to fireplace installation and maintenance, you need to not only find a contractor that you can trust, but also one that is certified by the National Fireplace Institute (NFI). It may seem distant, but choosing a contractor who is NFI-certified can be the difference between choosing a reputable fireplace expert, and playing with fire.
What is the NFI?
The NFI is an independent, non-profit certification agency that only has one thing on their mind: safety. You don’t need to be an astrophysicist to understand that work done on a fireplace can be inherently dangerous—not only for the person working on it, but for your home! That is why fireplace technicians who wish to attain their NFI certification must go through a rigorous exam covering extensive safety requirements, installation guidelines, and all of the other details which will make your fireplace functional and safe.
Why Choose NFI-Certified Technicians?
At its core, an NFI certification is not merely a sticker of competence, but rather a plaque of excellence. Most fireplace technicians out there know what they are doing, but an NFI certification can truly separate the highly-skilled experts from the pack. That being said, technicians who attain their NFI certification obviously have a passion for their craft, and thus are much better suited to help you in any of the decisions that correspond to installing a new fireplace into your home, or any maintenance questions that you may have about your current unit. With an increased attention to safety requirements, choosing an NFI pro is the choosing the right technician.
Indeed, it seems that the whole industry is heading in the NFI-preferred direction. Not only are more and more customers demanding that their fireplace technicians be NFI certified, but many manufacturers feel much better when they know that an NFI pro is taking care of the instillation of their products; 29 manufacturers have already advocated for installers and servicers of their unites to be NFI-certified. If that wasn’t enough, NFI-certified fireplace technicians are currently being recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency for consumers to use. With manufacturers and government agencies alike coming out to support technicians who are NFI certified, it’s no wonder why so many technicians are taking the plunge and earning their certification!
Due to the rigorous testing that an NFI professional needs to undergo in order to earn the badge, you can be assured that they are experts in almost everything related to fireplace units. Sure, they know the ins and outs of the safety requirements of a specific model, but where NFI pros really shine is in their adept knowledge of national building codes, fuel delivery issues, venting applications, combustion criteria, safety clearances, and inspections. Yet, it is not all book knowledge—NFI pros are tested time and time again on the service and installation of fireplaces, stoves, and inserts, so you really know that you’re getting the best of the best when you choose an NFI-certified contractor.
Yet when it comes to choosing an NFI professional, it’s important to know that you are choosing the right expert for the job. Tradesman can choose which area they would like to specialize in: gas, wood-burning, or pellet. Technicians can become all three types of specialists if they choose to do so, but each one has a certain set of skills and knowledge that makes them the perfect choice for that type of appliance. However, regardless of the specialty, all NFI pros have in-depth knowledge of safety requirements, codes, and venting systems, so you can bet your bottom dollar that they know a thing or two about their trade.
Don’t Play with Fire—Don’t Play with Safety
Let’s face it: fireplaces can be dangerous. You know the saying: Don’t play with fire, or you’ll get burned. Well, when it comes to fireplaces, the same idea applies. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, between the years of 2012-2014 there was an average of 22,300 household fires per year due to a fireplace. In fact, fireplaces actually led to more household fires than cooking appliances in the same year range, which goes to show that work on these appliances is a serious matter. With numbers like that, it makes perfect sense why you would want every fireplace technician that comes to your home to be NFI certified. Since they know how to install, service, and care for your fireplace with extreme precision, you can sleep easy at night knowing that the beautiful fireplace in your living room is safe, secure, and will not cause unnecessary harm.
Safety is often guaranteed when all of the little things go right—even the small things that wouldn’t cross the average handyman’s mind. That alone should be reason enough to enlist the help of an NFI-certified contractor, since they are going to understand all of the little details, codes, and regulations that go along with the new unit that you are trying to install and the unit that you may already have in your home. So, no matter what the project will entail, you know that you’re getting the best of the best, and therefore, you’ll have some peace of mind.
How to Find an NFI Certified-Specialist
When looking to choose an NFI professional for your next project, there is no need to worry on how to find them—NFI technicians proudly display their badges so potential clients know of their expertise. Case in point is our company writing this blog! We are proud of our craft, our profession, and our NFI certification, and we would be more than happy to help out on your next project. Whether big or small, commercial or residential, know that when you choose us, you’re choosing a fireplace contractor that has been certified to be an expert in our field. When choosing a fireplace pro, choosing NFI-certified is always the way to go!