Five chimney fires in one night

Fire engine

Fire engine - Credit: Archant

Householders urged to take extra care.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has issued a warning - after it dealt with no fewer than five chimney fires last night (Tuesday).

It is asking people to take extra care on cold evenings, especially when lighting up fires that haven’t been used for a while.

Fire investigation officer Mike Burroughs said: “With the nights still being quite cold, people have naturally been warming up their homes by lighting the traditional home fire, but without proper maintenance a chimney can become dangerous.

“To keep yourself and your family safe from fire you should take care to have your chimney swept regularly, depending upon what fuel you burn. If the worst should happen, a smoke alarm can give you the extra time you need to escape in a house fire – make sure you test yours regularly.”

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Chimneys need to be dirt-free to allow the free passage of dangerous combustion gasses, so regular cleaning will remove soot and creosote, and help prevent dangerous chimney fires. Make sure your chimney is swept regularly by a registered chimney sweep.

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