Why NFI Certification Should Matter to You

In your quest to build the perfect fire pit or fireplace for your residential or commercial space, you’ve likely seen recommendations for hiring a professional. Specifically in the installation of fire products, the industry standard certification is maintained by the National Fireplace Institute, or NFI. Their standards and tests are routinely reviewed and edited to ensure that everyone who is NFI certified stays up-to-date with any advancements in the industry. That all said, let’s get into the details of what the certification is and why it should matter to you.


What Is NFI Certification?

A professional installing a ledge onto a gas fire pit enclosure, ensuring proper air flow.

The National Fireplace Institute provides four different NFI certifications for professionals--one specifically designed for sales teams, and three for installers.

The sales version of this certification is for the Hearth Design Specialist, and is a jack-of-all-trades. This certification puts emphasis on a solid understanding of wood burning, gas burning, and pellet burning appliances, with special focus on which types best suit a potential customer’s needs. For example, your home or commercial space’s climate and elevation will play a role in the gas pressure requirements you need to achieve a specific size flame, and the Hearth Design Specialist is trained to ask you those questions to ensure your purchase meets all of your expectations.

The installer versions of this certification include the Woodburning Specialist, Gas Specialist, and Pellet Specialist. As you’d infer, these each correlate to a single fuel type and their different compatible appliances—for example, a Woodburning Specialist will be knowledgeable with both wood burning stoves as well as wood burning fire pits, but not Pellet appliances. In particular, these certifications are designed to ensure that the professional installing your fire feature knows every bit of information essential to a safe and efficient fire for your residence or business.


Why Should It Matter to You?

A professional sealing the edges of an indoor gas fireplace insert, to prevent gas leaks.

When it comes to household upgrades and improvements, DIY is a popular option—partially because it affords DIY-ers surplus control, and partially because it can be more affordable. However, a fire pit is very different from a dining room table. Fire is a dangerous element, and must be treated as such. Someone who is not NFI certified will not have the same comprehensive knowledge and regard for safety as an individual who is. Fire is a destructive force when not handled properly, and a single incorrectly connected component can result in damage to property and person. For the safety of yourself, your family, and friends we highly recommend working with NFI professionals, from purchase through installation.


How Can You Find An NFI Certified Professional?

A professional testing a recently completed gas fire pit to ensure everything is working properly.

Starfire Direct is proud to provide you with NFI Hearth Design Specialist support from your first call, chat, or email to us. Our team of NFI professionals collectively have over 20 years of experience in the hearth industry, and we strive to continually provide education and training to all of our staff to ensure each and every customer’s needs are met, and safety is kept at the forefront at all times. Working with us, you can rest assured that the fire we’re helping you build will be perfect.

For installation of your fire product, the National Fireplace Institute has a fantastic installer locator that we recommend our customers utilize to find a professional locally, that specializes in your specific appliance. Though we do not personally offer any installation services at this time, we absolutely still stand by hiring NFI certified installers. With these professionals taking on your project, you can feel confident that everything will be done correctly and safely.


When working with fire, attention to detail and safety is paramount. It is this drive for utmost satisfaction and safety that has lead Starfire Direct to encourage our staff to become NFI certified, and why we also cannot highlight enough the great benefit of hiring an NFI certified installer. DIY may save you money, but it can’t buy peace of mind. To get your new fire feature journey started, please feel free to reach out to our NFI certified sales staff by calling us at (866) 578-8538, live chatting us on our site, or by filling out our Contact Us form here.

Main Image: Hiring an NFI certified professional to oversee your project needs from start to finish ensures safety and comfort in your residential or commercial space.


Emily Lozano