Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Clam Bake for our General Membership Meeting, scheduled for Saturday, June 20th

This will be held at the home of Dan and Jeannie Jacobson in Kingston.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Chimney Sweep Festival

This weekend in Rochester England a chimney sweeps parade and all sorts of other events will take place to celebrate the traditional Sweep's holiday.


It's a little late to make travel plans. But I had never heard of this before and thought some of you would find it interesting.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Educating the Inspectors

I was recently invited by Mike Mendoza, the Building Inspector of Carver, to speak to the Mass. Federation of Building Officials. This two day symposium included building inspectors, state fire officials, the BBRS, the Dept. of Public Safety and many others. It wasn't until a week before I was to speak, that I found out that it was to be six, ninety minute presentations, split up into 2 days. I quickly downloaded the presentation for Home Inspectors from the CSIA website, but realized that I was going to need help with doing 6 presentations, so I called Rich Rua of A Traditional Sweep to see if he could help me out.

Mike Mendoza, Carver Building Inspector, myself and Dan at the end of a presentation.

My reasoning for choosing Rich was because not only is he a Board member, but he is a CSIA instructor and very familiar with this type of presentation. I met with Rich at his home, where Dan and I were treated to a wonderful meal of roast chicken. Normally I wouldn't be bothered telling you what I had for dinner, however it's a different story when you eat at Rich's house.
Rich has spent his "off hours" completely constructing a new "professional" kitchen, complete with an 8 foot hooded stove/grill. But the highlight was to see that he has also built outside. Off his back deck is a restaurant stove/grill and a brick oven that looked like something right out of Bertuccis. It was in this brick oven that Rich broiled up two whole chickens that where the best I've tasted in years. I also want to thank Christine who was a wonderful hostess and helped serve up fresh steamed asparagus and roasted red bliss potatoes with baby carrots. I was having such a good time I almost forgot that I had traveled to Rich's to go over the presentation with him for pointers and to make sure we were all on the same page.

Rich Rua during one of the presentations to Building Officials.

It was only after watching Rich do the first presentation that I realized that he was going to be a lot better at this than I was. Even though the original plan was to split up the presentations, Rich did 90% of them. I did do an introduction at the beginning of each presentation and Dan and I did field questions, however it was Rich who really did all the work and I want to thank him tremendously for his help and participation with this. I am also happy to report that I had the chance to speak to the Vice-President of the Mass. Fed. of Building Officials and was invited to attended their monthly meetings and speak to them again as a group. We were also approached by three other building officials who asked if we would do the presentation for their area building inspectors as well. It was after my first introduction where I had mentioned that there was no licensing for this industry in the State, that a Board member of the BBRS recommended we come see them again. During lunch, I also went over and said hello to Tom Riley, Code Development Mgr. of the BBRS, who has been one of our best proponents in this matter.

During the one break that we had in the two days, Rich, Dan and I attended one of the classes on licensing, given by the Dept. of Public Safety. We learned that as of July 9, 2009, the Home Improvement Contractors complaint division is moving to the Dept. of Consumer Affairs. There have also been some minor changes in HIC and CSL licensing and contracts, and I feel that this may be another seminar the Guild should offer the membership to make sure that we are all in compliance with these rules.

Again, a great big thank you to Rich Rua, and my husband Dan Jacobson for their help in making what I feel was a very successful two days of education to building officials in the State of Mass from the Mass. Chimney Sweep Guild.

Respectfully submitted by,

Jean Jacobson, President

Monday, March 23, 2009

President's Report

Happy Spring to All,

Well, I can only hope that things get better in 2009. Last year, like many of you, we had a surge of business when the oil prices skyrocketed, only to stop just as quickly when they went down. My busy season was good, but it dropped off as well as soon as the end of the year came. Like most of you (I hope) I put away a few bucks to help us get through the dry times, and I'm happy to say that since my company is incorporated, Dan is an employee of the company and entitled to unemployment benefits. If anyone has had any thoughts about incorporating, there are a lot of pros to this and I highly recommend it, but I know it's not for everyone.
But on to 2009. As of today, I have only one more Board of Directors meeting and then the final General Membership meeting in June before my 5 years as President of this Guild comes to an end. Elections are once again around the corner. We have two people running for President. David O'Shea, of All About Chimneys was first to take a nomination right from the beginning, and then we received a last minute nomination for Charles Koubek of Eurosweep Chimney. Good luck to both of you. The Treasurer's position is unopposed, but we received 6 nominations for 3 Board seats. It was really great to see a little bit more enthusiasm in regard to positions on the Board. As I have said many times in the past (and probably not for the last time either), since I have been a member of this Guild I have seen the same faces on the Board and as Directors. All we seem to do is rotate. From time to time a new face comes along, but they haven't taken the commitment to the position seriously and have left.
You need to take the position seriously if you accept a nomination. We have several Board meetings a year, and four General Membership meetings. These meetings are held every couple of months and require only a few hours of your time. This Guild is a non-profit organization that runs with the help of volunteers and we can always use help. Even if you do not take a position on the Board, you can come to a meeting and see if there's a committee you can help with. Anything you can do is greatly appreciated.
Since my last report, Dan and I did attend the National Convention in Winston-Salem NC. Despite a pretty bumpy ride home due to the storm, we had a great time and a specific report is forthcoming in this newsletter. Dan also attended a great ladder safety seminar at Lynn Ladder on March 7th. Other than that it's been a pretty quiet winter, and with SPRING only hours away as I speak, I am about to send out my Forward Scheduling reminder cards in hopes to jump start the second quarter of the year.
So here are a few things that you need to SAVE THE DATE for;

Wednesday, May 20th is the next Board of Directors meeting here at my house in Kingston.

Saturday, June 20th is when the Annual Meeting AND Summer Picnic will take place. It will be held here at my home as it has been in previous years. I requested this due to fact that it will be my last day as President and we usually have a pretty good turn out when they are held here by the pool. I am hoping to have a clam bake, but I am only in the preliminary stages.

But once again, I highly recommend you attend Sweepsfest in Newmarket NH. This is being held the last weekend in June. The Sootprints will be playing again, and from the looks of the agenda I see that we are in for some great seminars! The following month, again in the last weekend of July, will be the New York State Guild Annual Workshop. I will bring you more details as they become available, but please SAVE THESE DATES so you don't miss out!!! Also, we are developing some really great seminars so look for those notices in the mail as well on the website/blog.

Until then, have a wonderful Easter and Happy Spring to All!!

Jean Jacobson, President

It’s time for the Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild’s CSIA Certification and Review

When: June 6, 2009
Time: 10am (lunch will be provided)
Where: Taunton Holiday Inn, Taunton, MA

To sign up:
1. Please fill out the bottom portion of this form and mail it, along with a $50.00 registration fee (per person) made payable to the Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild, to A Traditional Sweep 72 Viking Drive Portsmouth, RI 02871. Deadline for registration is Friday May 29, 2009.

Certification Review and Exam

Submitted by Richard Rua

An unofficial review session will take place on Saturday June 6, 2009 in Taunton, MA. Following the review will be the certification exam. Please note that the certification exam will be changing soon and I encourage anyone who is ready to take the exam to do so now before the changes take place. In order to sit for the exam you must contact the National Chimney Sweep Guild to register for a proctored exam a minimum of 30 days before the exam.

National Convention Report

Our trip down was uneventful and we arrived Tuesday afternoon at the Embassy Suites in Winston-Salem NC. Once we were settled in our room, we met up with George & Kim Stroup (George is our Regional director) at what turned out to be a nightly reception the hotel gave each evening where persons staying at the hotel received a couple of free drinks and appetizers. Also with us were John & Lisa Podreca who are past Guild members who migrated down to No. Carolina a few years ago and it was great to see them again. We took someone's advise and went next door to the Mellow Mushroom for pizza. Kim's choice was "The Magical Mystery Tour" and I'm still trying to figure out what kind of mushrooms were on that pizza and why she was smiling all night!!!

George & Kim Stroup

The next morning Dan and I attended the Annual General Membership meeting as well as the CSIA informational meeting. I was ironic to see the National Guild having the same problems as we do trying to get enough voting members to a meeting for a quorum, but they finally did it. There was no quorum in Reno last year, so we went over two reports. It was there that Randy Brooks, current President of National, announced that next year the National convention will be held in Indianapolis. The highlight of the CSIA informational meeting was that CSIA has paid it's debt off to National for money they borrowed.
"Sooty" Bob Daniels was the Keynote Speaker this year and the address this year was "The Building Business Hall of Fame". In this address, Bob mentioned a number of people who's ideas helped build this industry. Mentioned was Fred Toldo, who the Mass. Guild has had an educational award named, that was given in past years. Also mentioned was Roland Robideaux, a former Mass. Guild member who's idea of "Forward Scheduling" is used by many sweeps now.
After the annual Group Photo was taken, I was able to round up all but one of the Mass. Guild members who attended.

Back Row: George & Kim Stroup, Erin Biscoe, Bob Searles, Judd Berg, Tom Biscoe, Mike Dhembe, Rich Buffone, Maureen Buffone
Front Row: Rich Rua, Billy Sweet, Jean Jacobson, Dan Jacobson, Mike Elliott (missing is Dave Bancroft)

Later that afternoon I attended the State Presidents Forum. I believe that due to some glitch, announcements of this meeting were never sent out and therefore the meeting was poorly attended. However it did give those who did attend a lot more time with Randy Brooks to talk about what's going on in our respective Guilds.
In the evening I attended the Presidents Reception. This years reception was combined with the "Meet and Greet" for the foreign attendees. It also had something that's never been there before and that's our own Sootprints who played acoustically. However the highlight of the evening was a Barney Fife & Gomer Pyle impersonators. The had a lot of fun joking with the attendees as well as the band. A few tables had also been set up for Pass the Pigs, which is traditionally played at conventions.

The Sootprints at the Presidents Reception

"Barney Fife" had a few words to say about the band.

Judd Berg & friends also played a rousing round of Pass the Pigs!!

The next day I was fortunate to attend one of the seminars in the morning before the opening session of the Tradeshow. It was finally time to see and talk to the people that you only get to see but once or twice a year.

Sooty Bob Daniels and Cathy Rocque of Copperfield Chimney Supply

Richard Payton of ICP

Jim Gillam of SNEWS Magazine & Russ Moore

Chuck Philips of Lindemann Chimney Supply doing what he does best

Pierre Simard of National Chimney Supply

Edmund Popolowski of Olympia Chimney Supply

Later that evening, Dan and I plus 6 others were treated to a fabulous meal at the Camel City Cafe by Chuck Phillips of Lindemann Chimney Supply. We want to thank him again for another memorable evening of food, friends and family!

When we got back to the hotel, Dan and I found that the rest of the band had set up in the Piano Lounge so he went and got his "drums". Then the band, and any other person who had an instrument or the nerve to sing, played and sang well after midnight.

The next morning was the closing session of the Trade Show where we had to say quick good-byes to a lot of the vendors who travel home right after the show. Once the trade show floor was broken down, it was time to set up for the Auction. The auction "theme" was NASCAR, and the "pit crews" wasted no time setting up for the event.

This year Judd Berg ran the auction. We tried something different this year, and Dan & I ran a small "silent auction" while the regular auction was running. Since Randy Atkinson, who has been our auctioneer for many years, no long "sweeps" and therefore doesn't attend conventions, this year we had 3 auctioneers. Our "head" auctioneer was John Pilger. The fact that John had just gotten out of the hospital after having quadruple by-pass surgery, speaks of his dedication and commitment to this industry. Great job John!

Auctioneer #2 who graciously let John take a few breaks was Ashley Eldridge.

The next morning I slept in a bit and got caught up with a little paperwork. Then it was time for the Sootprints to set up and do sound checks. A great big thank you goes out to Chuck & Cindy Phillips and Adam Chapman who were their sound and light technicians.

Adam Chapman, Chuck & Cindy Phillips

Here are Dan and I ready for the evening festivities.
While the band played an instrumental of Pink Floyd's "The Wall", the evening begin with a procession line that ended with Randy & Traci Brooks.

Here Mike Elliott, who was lucky enough to be on the crew of "Sweep the White House" last August, watches as an American Flag is presented to the National Guild.

Below are highlights of the evening

Billy Sweet and friends

Michelle & Adam Chapman

Me with Yvette Aube' from Canada

Enjoying the evening was Judd Berg

Rich Buffone, Bob Searles, Dan Jacobson, Rick Vollmer, Erin Biscoe & Tom Biscoe AKA "The Sootprints"

Treasurers Report

Lindemann Seminar

Click to see full size flier.

Chatham family treated for carbon monoxide

Chatham family treated for carbon monoxide poisoning Officials
discovered an object stuck in a home's flue was the cause of four cases
of carbon monoxide poisoning.


Ladder Safety and Scaffolding Safety Courses

March 7, 2009

By Billy Sweet
Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep
Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild

The Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild sponsored a Ladder Safety and a Scaffolding Safety Course today. Kudos to Jeannie Jacobson, our president for thinking of providing courses for the members of the Guild, as a way of providing value to our members. Usually this course costs $25, but thanks to her foresight and Alan’s generosity, we are able to give you this benefit for no cost. This is a great deal!

Alan Kline and the Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild. Billy Sweet photo.

I also thank Alan Kline, president of Lynn Ladder Corp. of Lynn, Massachusetts. Alan generously contributed his time and resources to the Guild.

Alan Kline, of Lynn-Ladder Corp. Billy Sweet photo.

I mean to say Alan was very generous. Not only did he give us his knowledge and his good humor, he gave T-shirts, hats, a ladder-offset, a step ladder, and a chicken ladder away in a raffle for all attending. A big shout-out to Alan Kline and Lynn-Ladder!

Lynn Ladder is the most innovative and forward thinking of five ladder and scaffolding corporations in the United States. They combine technical competence and careful regard for the technician’s safety with the best customer service. I repeat: the best customer service. I personally have used Lynn Ladder products since 1980. They are a class act. Get to know them. Use them.

Twenty Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild members and two new member applicants attended the Ladder Safety Course and the Scaffolding Safety Course. David O’Shea, who is running unopposed, and will be our next president, and his business partner Ken Testa attended, as did Tim Martinson, our secretary.

Dan Jacobson, our treasurer, and certified guild rock star paid his dues.

Jeff Ludlow, a member of the Board of Directors and three of his employees, Steven Drew, Evan Parke, and Peter Spears were there.

Jeff Ludlow and crew. Billy Sweet photo.

Anthony Glew and Charissa Ray, and Derek Hanna, a Guild Director, and Chris Pervier showed. John and Justin O’Donnell came.

Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep had six employees and five Chimney Safety Institute of America Certified Chimney Sweeps attending. The CSIA certified sweeps were Ed Harrigan, Jon White, Eric Hanson, Josh Jordan, and Billy Sweet. Sean McGillecuddy attended and is working on his CSIA certification.

Left to right: Eric Hanson, Joe Briggs, Peter Chretien, David O’Shea, Sean McGillecuddy, Derek Hannah, Ken Testa, Josh Jordan, and Ed Harrigan. Billy Sweet photo.

Two new member applicants attended as well, Pat Hart and Joe Briggs. Welcome!

The Ladder User Safety and Hazard Awareness Course is for employees that perform work while using portable of fixed ladders. This program covers the proper selection, care, and use of both portable and fixed ladders, with respect to both the OSHA laws and ANSI standards. The Scaffold User Safety and Hazard Awareness Course is for employees that perform work while on a scaffold. The program covers scaffold safety with regard to falls, falling objects, electrocution, unsafe access, and collapse. The emphasis is on hazard identification and accident prevention.

CEU’s were available for CSIA certification and for NFI certification. If you work on ladders, OSHA expects you and your employees to attend the Ladder Safety Course. If you work on scaffolding, OSHA expects you and your employees to have attended this Scaffolding Safety Course. Contact Billy, at Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, 617-469-4528, or billy@billysweetchimneysweep.com, for more information about when the next Ladder Safety and Scaffolding Safety Courses are held.

Furthermore, if you erect scaffolding, know OSHA expects you or whoever erects scaffolding in your company to have attended a Scaffold Competent Person Safety Training. This course is for employees, supervisors, and foremen who erect scaffolds and oversee scaffold erection. It centers around frame scaffolds, while including sections on system scaffolds, tube and coupler scaffolds, as well as a section on carpenter’s scaffolds. This course covers all the safety aspects regarding scaffold components, foundation requirements, regulations, fall protection systems, access methods, estimating, and erection and dismantling techniques. Emphasis is placed on a hands-on experience. It is a 6-7 hour course.

The Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild will be sponsoring a Scaffold Competent Person Safety Training soon. Contact Billy, at Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, 617-469-4528, or billy@billysweetchimneysweep.com, for more information about the Scaffold Competent Person Safety Training Course.

I challenge you to align with the Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild. Have for yourself, and provide for your employees the best in safety and competence training. After all, for the success of your chimney business, who is more important than you and your techs?

Register for Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild sponsored OSHA and ANSI approved safety courses. Contact Billy, at Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, 617-469-4528, or info@billysweetchimneysweep.com, for more information.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Upcoming Seminars

the Mass. Guild will be sponsoring a seminar titled "Ladder User Safety & Hazard Awareness" on Saturday, March 7th

at Lynn Ladder in Lynn. This seminar is free for the first two members of each Guild company and there will be $25.00 per person charge for more than two persons in a company or for persons who are not a member of the Guild if they wish to attend. Your registration forms will be coming shortly from Billy Sweet who is our seminar coordinator, so be on the look out for that if you want to attend this great seminar.

Also, the next General Membership Meeting is being held on Wednesday, March 18th at the Holiday Inn in Taunton. We plan on having speakers there to talk about OSHA and what to expect when an accident has occurred, as well as Oliver Beauchemin, who will talk about the importance of the Guild subscribing to a Search Engine Optimization program and how it will benefit each member. Your announcement for this meeting will be coming in the mail soon as well.

If you have any questions regarding the Lynn Ladder Seminar, you can contact Billy Sweet at billy@billysweetchimneysweep.com.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

President's Report

I hope that this newsletter finds you all happy and healthy so far in this New Year. 2008 was a year of extreme highs and lows, i.e., gas & oil prices, the stock market, and the sale and installation of solid fuel appliances, but before we look forward to 2009, let's take a look back at 2008 for a moment.

Early in the year we had one of the most profitable NortheastRegional Conventions in Mystic, CT. Due to several business factors, the committee chose to disband, however this convention netted our Guild $14,639.00. Soon after, we lost a fellow sweep in New York, Shawn Simboli, in a horrible snowmobile accident. Soon spring broke and as we all scrambled to get our businesses back up and running, the summer brought us Sweepsfest in NH, and theNew York Summer Workshop. It was at this workshop that we celebrated the life of Shawn as well as others who had passed in our lives. Although somber at times, and wet as usual, a great time was had by all, especially those of us that took part in the motorcycle trips that were planned by Tom Biscoe, Paul Deveny and Greg Polakow. Summer was also when Mike Elliott suffered serious injuries in a bicycle accident, and as you all know, we had a "Sweep One for Mike" campaign. This allowed us to send a check to the Elliotts for $2,500.00. Mike eventually recovered from his injuries well enough to go to Washington, DC to "Sweep the White House" and we couldn't have been happier for him.

It wasn't very long after that, that we saw gas prices reach over $4.00 a gallon and heating oil there as well. Due to this, the sale of pellet and wood stoves sky rocketed and so did the stove installations. But as soon as those prices went down, so did the phone calls, however based on the rest of the economy these days, I can't complain.

The Guild sponsored a Thermocrete seminar in July, and as you can see by Billy Sweet's report, we plan on having a great deal of seminars in2009, so look for that information soon.

Last, but not least, we had our annual Holiday Party at the Radisson Hotel in Hyannis. Once again, I found the accommodations, the food, and those who attended made for one heck of a weekend for Dan and I. I'd like to thank the Sootprints once again for playing for us that night as well as the generosity of those who took part in our auction which netted the Guild close to $2,500.00. If you do business with any of the distributors that donated to the auction, please thank them the next time you place an order. I have sent out "thank you" certificates, but a little extra thank you never hurts!

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but that brings my 2008 wrap up to and end. Now, what to look forward to in 2009. Well, for immediate starters, I looking forward to the snow to stop! Although a little snow in the winter is nice, I think Mother Nature has taken it a little too far already.

Dan and I plan on attending the National Chimney Sweep Guild Convention in Winston-Salem, NC at the end of February. I will be attending as Guild President, and Dan is attending as a band member. The Sootprints were hired to play at the banquet, as well as a social function and we're really excited about going down. I'm hoping to be able to see John & Lisa Prodreca who "migrated" down there a few years ago from Mattapoisett.

In March, we will be having the last General Membership meeting before the elections in June. As I have indicated previously, it is imperative that you take a good look at what you can do for the Guild, not what it can do for you. You cannot have one without the other. This Guild does not run by itself and if you could find it in yourself to donate a few hours 5 or 6 times a year to keep building this Guild and its potential, then I guarantee you will not be disappointed. We are currently looking for people to run for President, Treasurer, and 3 Board seats. If you would like to be nominated, but cannot attend the March meeting, just contact any Board of Director, Officer or myself and we'd be more than happy to do it for you, but please take the nomination seriously and if you take a position, please be ready to serve.

Well, that's it for now. I'll be writing up only one more report before my term as President ends, so I'm going to keep my self positive and hope that the last report is full of wonderful things that have happened to the Guild, this industry and hopefully for the entire economy.

My best for a healthy and Happy New Year
.Jean Jacobson

Vice President’s Report

January 8, 2009

Hello MCSG members!

I hope you had a busy and profitable season, and I pray we all have a happy and successful new year.

That being said, well the phones ring a lot less this January than last January. And the weather is having a big impact on our ability to get out to work. Still, we are trooping along.

Alan Kline, of Lynn Ladder would love to host a ladder and scaffolding safety seminar for us. He wants to have it at his facility in Lynn, and we will be scheduling shortly. I’ll have most if not all of my people there as he does a great job and I always learn a lot. Stay tuned into the MCSG website for more info.

Jeff Wright of Chimneysavers in Saugus has had quite an experience with OSHA. He is willing to talk to us about it and answer questions. I was shocked (really, no kidding) when I heard all he had to deal with. All I could think was there but for the grace of God go I. It could happen to me, it could happen to you. You will want to hear what he has to say, and consider it in light of your own best practices. I can think of no greater contribution this Guild can make to you than to prepare you for what to do if it happens to you. Jeff is smart, articulate, careful, and he has good people working for him. Yet OSHA has been a huge drain on his resources and his profitability this year. Don’t miss this opportunity to become aware of the consequences of a little mistake gone wild. This too we will be scheduling soon, check the MCSG website.

Jeff Ludlow of August West has a similar story to tell, perhaps we can combine them in one presentation with lunch. Again, check the website.

Some of you may want us too seek out presentations on something, or know someone who can teach us. Please contact me should you have an idea you want to discuss. You can reach me at my office at 781-593-2333.

Good luck in the new year!


Billy Sweet
Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep

News from MOC - Citizens Energy Program Back On

Massachusetts Oilheat Council
Legislative & Regulatory NewsletterJanuary 7, 2009
Citizens Energy Program Update

Citizens Energy Program Back On
MOC reported in a Legislative & Regulatory Update yesterday on an announcement made by former Congressman Joe Kennedy on the indefinite suspension of this years Citizens Energy Oilheat Program. The announcement was spurred by Kennedy's concern over the possible loss of oil donations from Venezuelan government-owned CITGO.

Today, however, CITGO and Citizens Energy announced that the program would continue as planned despite major budget concerns for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Chavez relies on oil revenue to fund the country's numerous social spending programs, and concern over funding these programs was mounting as a result of major oil revenue losses suffered since prices began their free fall following record highs this past July.

At MOC we strive to keep you up-to-date on the issues that directly affect your business. The following is the latest legislative and regulatory news concerning the Massachusetts Oilheat industry and its consumers.

In the statement made today by CITGO Chief Executive Alejandro Granado it was explained that, despite a funding crunch, donations to the Citizens Energy Oilheat Program would not be rescinded. The decision to continue the program "is the result of a strong commitment and a big effort on the part of Citgo and our shareholders in light of the current global financial crisis and its impact on the oil industry in general" said Granado.

The announcement came as a great relief to Joe Kennedy, employees of the Citizens Energy Program, low income advocates and low income residents alike. MOC played a major role in the creation of the Citizens Energy Oilheat program and is pleased that it will continue uninterrupted this season. The program is set to begin January 19th, 2009.

Click here to read Joe Kennedy's official statement.
Click here to read the Boston Globe story.

Don't Wait Until the Last Minute!
Register Today For Discounted Registration
Just a few weeks remain until discounted rates are no longer available for NCSG Innovation 2009 registration. Discounts at the NCSG host hotels are available through January 23. The Embassy Suites block is full and the inquiries at the Marriott keep coming in. Don't be left behind! Make plans to attend today! Registration is open at www.ncsg.org/innovation or just give us a call at (317) 837-1500.

Registration discounts end on January 30. Hotel discounts end on January 23.

Check out the complete schedule online at www.NCSG.org/innovation.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pictures from Thermocrete Workshop

"All About Chimneys and Ventech Industries Inc. sponsered an informative seminar for MA Guild members to introduce them to the Thermocrete and Smoktite line of products. This revolutionary ceramic spray was designed to quickly and easily repair damaged tile liners, but also can be used to coat and seal unlined flues and unlined smoke chambers. David O'Shea of All About Chimneys has been using this product since its inception in North America and has found it to be a valuable addition to his services.
More information on Thermocrete can be found at www.thermocreteusa.com."

Friday, January 9, 2009

Slide Show

I'd be happy to add more pictures to this slideshow. If you have pictures you'd like to see here just send them over. If you have a lot of pictures in a public album online I might be able to post another slideshow from that.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Member in the News

It's 'flue' season: Chimney sweeps can help prevent house fires

By Dan O'Brien / The Daily Item
Dave O'Shea was startled but not shocked when he read an Item article Jan. 2 about a house fire in Marblehead that firefighters said began in a chimney flue.Lots of house fires begin in poorly maintained chimneys, but firefighters said the New Year's Day fire occurred in a chimney that was inspected only two days earlier.John and Joanne Nestor of 32 Beverly Ave. suffered about $50,000 worth of damages after fire spread from the chimney through the walls.O'Shea, a Marblehead chimney sweeper who is on the board of directors for the Massachusetts Chimney Sweeping Guild, said there is no law in Massachusetts that requires chimney sweepers to be licensed."What boggles my mind is that painters have to be licensed, but not us," O'Shea said. "We're looked at as having a quaint, 'Dick Van Dyke' image but we're very skilled at what we do."O'Shea is the co-owner of All About Chimneys, of 4 Beringer Way, Marblehead, and warns homeowners to only hire chimney sweepers proven to be certified by the Mass. Chimney Sweeping Guild or the Chimney Safety Inspectors of America, who take rigorous exams on chimney inspection every three years.
= 1208322000) && (nAdsysTime = 1187326800) && (nAdsysTime = 1228716000) && (nAdsysTime = 1228284000) && (nAdsysTime = 1226642400) && (nAdsysTime = 1227160800) && (nAdsysTime
The Mass. Chimney Sweeping Guild's Web site (http://www.mcsguild.org/) provides a list of reputable sweepers on the North Shore.The guild has been fighting for the state legislature to require all chimney sweepers in Massachusetts to have a license, O'Shea said."We have fought for licensing for many, many years," O'Shea said. "We've gone before the legislature and said, 'Please, license us.'"O'Shea said this season he's observed more "fly by night" companies that aren't reputable and taking advantage of homeowners in tough financial times.
"There's no recourse for the home owner," he said. "I think because of the economy there are a lot more fly-by-nighters. We have little to combat that because there is no official licensing."Experienced sweepers first do a close visual inspection of the chimney, including its flues and liners, on the first visit to make sure there are no cracks or other damage, O'Shea said. A second inspection would require cameras to take a closer look while a third inspection might require taking the chimney apart to thoroughly examine it."There can be a lot of hidden defects nobody knows anything about until something bad happens," he said.The two non-profits mentioned are going to do everything they can this year to pass a law allowing licensing of sweepers before another house fire occurs, considering the seriousness of working with gas and oil heat while inspecting a chimney, O'Shea said."If those aren't working properly a homeowner could have serious problems with loss of property of life," he said.

Need CSIA Certification?

We're having a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep review on January 23!

It will be held at:
Publick House - Historic Inn & Country Motor Lodge
Route 131, P.O. Box 187
Sturbridge, MA 01566-0187

Phone: (508) 347-7323 Sleeping Rooms – Inn ($99); Hill ($79)Both include coffee and pastry in the morning at the Tavern.www.publickhouse.com

Thanks in advance! :)
Happy holidays!

Melissa Heeke
Director of Communications & Marketing
Chimney Safety Institute of America
Office: (317) 837-5362 x 105• Fax: (317) 837-5365

Mass. man dies when raccoon blocks furnace exhaust

December 22, 2008

SANDWICH, Mass.—Sandwich police say a 62-year-old man has been found dead in his home, apparently the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a dead raccoon blocking his furnace exhaust.
The Cape Cod Times reports that police went to the man's home Sunday morning to perform a well-being check.
When they entered the home they found him dead. The fire department found high levels of carbon monoxide when it took readings inside the home.
The man's name was not immediately released.
Investigators found that a raccoon had crawled down the flue to the gas furnace and died, blocking the exhaust.
Officials say there were no carbon monoxide or smoke detectors in the home.
Information from: Cape Cod Times, http://www.capecodonline.com
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