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Fire Place Alterations may be a Fire Hazard

14th December 2010

Fire crews in North Yorkshire recently attended two incidents, in as many weeks, where faulty chimney breasts could have caused serious house fires.

The causes of both incidents arose from alterations made to the chimney breast by removing the original fire surround and purpose made concrete fire back to create a flat fronted decorative chimney breast. This caused smoke and fumes to percolate into the neighbouring property.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind householders that this type of alteration should only be carried out by a Heatas Registered Installer ( The Official Body of Solid Fuel Domestic Heating Appliances, Fuels & Services). They will also be able to give advice on the condition of existing chimney breasts and fireplaces.

We would also remind householders to have their chimneys swept at least once a year. Chimney sweeps usually advise that chimneys ought to be cleaned after a period of prolonged disuse (over the summer for example). Many also advise that chimneys should be cleaned before the end of the heating season to ensure that the chimney is clear of animal nests and prepared for the subsequent idle period.

If a chimney is used very often, it might be necessary to sweep it more often. A professional chimney sweep would be able to advise the optimum cleaning schedule for your chimney.

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