With summer drawing to a close, Chimney Fire Safety Week (8 –14 September) provides a timely reminder to make sure that your chimney is ready for the winter months ahead. As part of the national Fire Kills campaign, Cleveland Fire Brigade is urging householders to ensure their chimney is safe and to have their chimney swept by a registered chimney sweep.
Open fires not only warm up a home, but also create a unique relaxing ambience. With the numbers of people using open fires growing, Fire Chiefs have provided some top tips for safer chimneys.
- Always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers
- Make sure embers are properly put out before you go to bed
- Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained
Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection explains: “With the colder, winter months looming, people will begin to start using open fires and their chimneys again. In order to keep you and your family safe from fire, you need to take necessary steps such as ensuring your chimney is swept regularly, depending upon what fuel you burn and I would urge all householders to have a working smoke alarm in their home.”
|Smokeless coals||At least once a year|
|Wood||Up to four times a year|
|Bituminous coal||Twice a year|
|Oil||Once a year|
|Gas||Once a year|
Mr Lancaster adds: “Latest statistics show that chimney fires, although relatively uncommon, have doubled in Cleveland in the last decade, at a time when accidental fires in the home have been decreasing.
“All chimneys and flue-ways should be cleaned and checked during the summer months to ensure they’re free from debris and in full working order before the heating season. A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisonings so it’s very important to employ a professional qualified Chimney Sweep.”