CAPS, COWLS & CAGES
WHEN you think of a chimney sweep you probably envisage a cheery soot covered chap with brush slung over shoulder or on rooftops hard at work. While that is still part of the job there is so much more to the modern chimney sweep from installation of the most up to date heating systems to helping the coroner discover how someone died. “Everyday is different and you never stop learning. We’re on new courses every few months just to make sure that we are up to date with the latest technology and legislation,” says Danny Quinn from Q Sweep. It is the fact that every day offers something new, along with the fact that you directly help to keep people safe that attracted Danny to the trade. “I was a driver with a hospital for 18 years and then I got into the chimney sweep trade through a family member. I did it part time for ten years while I trained and got my qualifications. I’ve now been a full time chimney sweep for four years,” says Danny. As a member of the NI Association Chimney Sweeps, the only recognised body of chimney professionals in the north, Danny has to ensure that the highest standards are met at all times. “It’s all about safety. No matter what type of heating system is in use from the old coal fires to the latest wood burning stove there are dangers involved that can cost lives. Our job is to make sure that these are maintained and that they don’t pose a risk to people. “The recent tragedy involving the young lads who died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning has highlighted the dangers that are out there. We’re trying to highlight that danger and ask people not to take risks. You should have your fire checked at least once a year and if you have a wood burner then it should be twice a year,” adds Danny. As well as maintaining heating systems, carrying out safety checks, repointing chimneys and helping to ensure that heating systems are correctly installed there is even a role in verifying the causes of tragedies. “It’s a sad aspect of the job but we sometimes help the coroner to clarify if a death has been caused due to a problem with the heating system. While it is sad it also helps to understand what went wrong and to learn from that for the future. “At the end of the day our job is more about preventing anything from going wrong. I know now that there’s a recession some people might not have their checks done on a regular basis but we would urge them not to neglect their heating check as it could save their lives,” says Danny. If you would like to learn more about how Q Sweep can help you to check your heating system or provide you with Carbon Monoxide detectors please call on 02890228549.