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Press Releases

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10/11/2019

Consumer Advisory: Check Your Chimney and Chimney Liner Before Cooler Weather Hits

Friday, October 11th 2019 – The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is urging consumers to have their chimney inspected if there is any concern that their chimney liner is inappropriately connected before they turn their heat on this winter. In particular, if you have had a chimney liner installed recently by anyone without an appropriate credential, you should get an inspection immediately by contacting your local building official.

 

Poorly connected chimney liners can affect the air quality of the home, and ultimately lead to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning if not dealt with properly.

 

“Work that’s not completed by a licensed professional can cost you hard earned dollars, and even be a risk to your health,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, “We encourage families in Connecticut to take the steps they need to ensure they have a safe chimney now, before it’s too late in the season and they’re in need of heat.”

 

If you think you may need chimney cleaning or repairs before winter, make arrangements now. Before you hire someone, take the following steps:

 

  • Verify that anyone doing work on your home has the proper credential by visiting www.elicense.ct.gov.
    • Anyone doing chimney repair requires a Home Improvement Contractor registration, but may have a Sheet Metal License if they perform more advanced work regularly.
    • Anyone attaching the chimney liner to a furnace requires a Heating, Piping, and Cooling License.
  • Ask for recommendations from trusted friends and family, and hire locally.
  • Check at least three references, and read reviews online.
  • Ensure you have the right building permits. Building permits are required for chimney repair and chimney liner installation. While your contractor may help with this process, the ultimate responsibility lies with the homeowner.
  • Have a signed contract in writing. Home improvement contractors are required to have a contract with you before starting work.
  • Ask any questions you have about your contract before signing it. Make sure you understand the contract.

 

Know the signs of a scam. Don’t do business with anyone who:

  • Pressures you to pay up front;
  • Requires that you pay in an untraceable form like cash or wire transfer;
  • Says they’ll even bring you to your bank to get money to pay them up front;
  • Won’t show you proof of their credentials;
  • Won’t give you references;
  • Refuses to offer you a contract in writing;
  • Offers you a deal that sounds too good to be true; or,
  • Knocks on your door without an appointment.

 

Anyone who has information about contractors without the appropriate credentials soliciting work, or who has a complaint about a contractor may email DCP at dcp.complaints@ct.gov.

 

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Media Contact:

Lora Rae Anderson

lorarae.anderson@ct.gov

(860) 713-6019 (office)

(860) 247-8711 (cell)

 

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