A fireplace can enhance the value of a home by contributing to its warmth and ambiance. Fireplaces have been used for centuries for heating, cooking, and decorative appeal. A roaring fire on a cold day lends a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere to any home. The EPA estimates there are thirteen million fireplaces in the United States. An improperly constructed or maintained fireplace can also spell disaster to an unsuspecting homeowner: Not only can an improperly constructed or maintained fireplace and its chimney pose a significant fire and smoke hazard, it can often create a significant structural hazard within a home or building. This course will discuss statutory regulations concerning fireplace and chimney inspections, as well as the elements of fireplaces, chimneys, and wood burning stoves. We will discuss the proper methods of construction, installation, maintenance, and safety considerations necessary to enhance a home inspection and provide an increased level of comfort for your clients. In the following chapters, we will discuss various types of fireplaces and chimneys: masonry, prefabricated metal, antique stone rubble, and vintage. We will also discuss the components of these structures. The components generally include the firebox, damper, lintel, hearth, ash dump, smoke chamber, flue, rain cap, and spark arrestor. The course also concentrates upon safety features in gas-fired fireplaces, fire blocking between floors, and basic tools for these specialized inspections.