Homeowners warned of chimney fire dangers

03 September 2018
roof of a building with chimney

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service are supporting this Chimney Fire Safety Week by reminding householders to have their chimneys swept.

Having chimneys swept regularly by an approved sweep is an important step in avoiding this type of household fire as well as preventing chimney damage.

NFRS District Liaison Officer Tina Collett said: “So many people do not even think about the condition of their chimneys until a very chilly day comes along and they want to use their fire.

Devastating chimney fires

“Chimney cleanliness and condition really shouldn’t be an afterthought, as chimney fires can be completely devastating.

"People should be organising to have their flue system initially camera surveyed, then swept, then camera surveyed again to ensure the flue system is properly intact and there are no structural issues or potential fire hazards.

"The time and trouble it takes to have a chimney checked over will inevitably be a lot less than the impact of a serious house fire; it is worth making the effort.”

Across England, chimney fires accounted for more than 4,200 incidents dealt with by fire and rescue services (between April 2016 and March 2017).

Find out more about chimney fire safety by visiting Chimney Fire Safety Week.

It is possible to search for chimney sweeps from any of the following organisations:

Chimneys should be swept according to the type of fuel being used:

  • smokeless fuels – at least once a year
  • bituminous coal – at least twice a year
  • wood – quarterly when in use
  • oil – once a year
  • gas – once a year

Chimney safety tips

  • Ensure your chimney is swept regularly.
  • Keep chimneys, flues and appliances clean and well maintained.
  • Ensure the fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Never interrupt the air supply by blocking air vents or air bricks.
  • Avoid slumbering an appliance, unless is has been tested as safe to do so. Slumber mode is when an appliance is purposely set at a low or minimum output, normally for overnight burning, to be revived in the morning without the need for relighting.
  • Use the appropriate fuel for your appliance, some appliances will be suitable for wood only, some are multi-fuel. Check your appliance instructions.
  • Make sure a carbon monoxide detector is fitted.

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