Did you know that the Fire and Rescue Service attended to approximately 7,000 chimney fires last year? Many of them were preventable.
A fire will destroy anything and everything in its path, so in support of Chimney Fire Safety Week, 3rd to 9th of September; we have devised a guide to help raise awareness of the dangers of chimney fires and how you can avoid them. Particularly, when it comes to chimney fires, there are just a few additional ways in which you can protect your home and family before, during and after using them.
Whether you have been using a stove for many years or you’ve just had a new stove installed, it is easy to forget or skip even the basic precautions of fire safety.
- Never leave an open burning fire unattended, particularly around small children and pets
- Test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector at least once a month
- Keep flammable belongings away from a burning fire. This can include; clothing, plants, furniture, decorations, electronics and loose wires etc.
- For wood burners, make sure the wood is properly dried out, seasoned and with a moisture content of 20% or below
- Inspect your chimney regularly, particularly after bad or windy weather, as blockages will cause a build-up of harmful gases.
Keeping your chimney clean and having it inspected regularly will minimise the risk of fire and the build-up of poisonous gases dramatically. The following timings should only to be used as a rough guide, how regularly you get your chimney swept and inspected should be consistent with your use and the type of stove.
- Smokeless fuels and Biomass - at least once a year
- Oil, Gas and Bituminous coal - at least twice a year
- Wood burners – quarterly when in use
The best time to have your chimney swept thoroughly is at the beginning of the cold season and after it has been dormant for a long period of time. This is because soot and debris can build up inside the chimney and birds may choose to nest there - both of these things can cause a chimney fire.
Be sure to have your stove or burner inspected and cleaned by a qualified professional regularly as when it comes to fire safety there is no room for error.
If you live in Surrey or the surrounding areas, GSG offers a complete service when it comes to chimney, flues and heating appliances. Our staff are all NACS (National Association of Chimney Sweeps) approved chimney sweeps and HETAS registered engineers, therefore can inspect, clean and take the appropriate measures to prevent the risk of fire.
If you have a fire in your home, hear an alarm or detector sounding, leave the house immediately and call 999. For further information, please visit: https://www.hetas.co.uk/