A fireplace or stove can add beauty, warmth and value to your home and set the mood for memorable gatherings of family and friends. Choosing and installing a hearth system without adequate expertise is like playing with fire. That is why our industry is making quality training and credentials its mission. Planning and installing fireplaces, stoves and their venting systems requires experience, technical knowledge and skill. Numerous decisions — from proper floor protection to appliance sizing and placement to venting system compatibility and height-should all be made with the expertise of a specialist. Hearth professionals have a credible, nationally-recognized credentialing program through which they can validate their knowledge and advance in a career path. The National Fireplace Institute®, an independent, non-profit certification agency, has created these standards for certification in the hearth industry. Only those who pass a rigorous examination covering fundamentals of proper installation receive NFI Specialist Certification. Thanks to these efforts, NFI is now recognized as the basis for licensure in several states, counties and local municipalities. Licensing is a local issue and many times NFI certification is required without any notice to the NFI office.