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Making a clean sweep for safety

1st September 2014

With summer drawing to a close, Chimney Fire Safety Week (9 –15 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, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are 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, the Fire Kills campaign has 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

Group Manager Peter Hudson 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

He adds: “Latest statistics show that there are approximately 7,000 chimney fires a year in England, but most chimney fires are preventable.

“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.”

For more information on fire safety please visit www.gov.uk/firekills  

To find a certified Chimney Sweep, or for more information on chimney fire safety, please visit www.nacs.org.uk, http://www.instituteofchimneysweeps.com/find.php, or www.hetas.co.uk.

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