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National Fireplace Institute® (NFI)

National Fireplace Institute

As you research information on the perfect hearth and fireplace product for your home, an important aspect of the process often overlooked by the consumer are the credentials of the technician installing the appliance in your home.

The National Fireplace Institute was established in 2002 to increase public safety by establishing meaningful credentials for professionals involved in planning and installing residential hearth appliances and venting systems.  NFI certifies planners and installers in three hearth product categories based on fuel type:

  • NFI Gas Specialist
  • NFI Woodburning Specialist
  • NFI Pellet Specialist

Why is there a need for hearth/fireplace installer credentials?

In two words: Public Safety.  Because home hearth products involve flame, heat and venting of combustion products, they require specialized knowledge for planning and installing.  The National Fireplace Institute is the only certification agency that tests the knowledge needed to properly plan and install hearth products and their venting systems in the following categories:

Fundamental Knowledge:

  • Combustion
  • Heat/heat protection
  • Safety guidelines/consequences of action
  • Construction fundamentals

Installation Knowledge:

  • Regulations and instructions
  • Fuel delivery
  • Appliance requirements
  • Draft and ventilation principles
  • Venting requirements
  • Post installation inspection and service

Certification is regarded as an excellent indication of professional training and commitment.  By renewing their NFI Certification every three years, certified installers are also demonstrating knowledge on the most current hearth products and installation techniques.

NFI Certification is recognized as the basis for a specialty license to install hearth products in a number of state, county and municipal jurisdictions, including the State of Rhode Island, State of Iowa, State of New Hampshire, New Castle County, DE, the City of Lawrence, KS, and the City of Lincoln, NE.  In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends, and in some cases requires that consumers choose an NFI Certified specialist when participating in a wood stove changeout program.

So as you shop for the perfect hearth and fireplace product, there's just one question you need to ask your retailer, "Is your installer NFI Certified?"  For more information on the National Fireplace Institute, or to find a specialty retailer with an NFI Certified specialist on staff, please visit the Consumer Section on the NFI website.  


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