Have you checked your chimney?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 October 2012



Fire service issues safety advice.

With the arrival of cooler temperatures homeowners are being urged to check their chimney is safe to use.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is urging members of the public to ensure their chimney is free of dirt and regularly swept.

A statement released by the fire service said: “Check that your chimneys and flues are clean and well maintained and free of any blockages like bird nests and cobwebs.

“The chimney breast itself will need inspecting, particularly in the roof space, making sure that it is sound and that sparks or fumes cannot escape through cracks or broken bricks.”

Sweeping frequencies will depend on the type of fuel, appliance used, duration of use, moisture content of wood fuel, and the chimney type.

Wood burning stoves, which have been growing in popularity, need to be checked regularly to make sure they are safe and clean.

Also ensure wood burners are installed and maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has issued some safety tips:

• Always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers

• Make sure embers are properly extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house

• When burning wood, use dry, seasoned woods only

• Never burn cardboard boxes or waste paper

• Do not overload the grate

• Consider having a carbon monoxide detector fitted as an additional safeguard against the build up of poisonous fumes

• Have a working smoke alarm

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