Safety warning sparked after series of chimney fires

Firefighters called to 36 chimney fires in the last week.

Firefighters in Devon and Somerset responded to 39 chimney fires last week, it has been revealed.

As a result Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service are renewing calls for homeowners to take extra care.

Fire investigation officer Mike Burroughs said: “With the recent cold snap 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.”

Members are the public are also urged to take care when using wood burning stoves, which need to be checked regularly to ensure they are safe and clean.

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