As autumn fast approaches a call is going out from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service to ensure chimneys are clean and ready for use.
Chimney Fire Safety Week gets underway on September 21, and runs until September 27, reminding people of the potential fire dangers of a poorly kept chimney.
Warwickshire has almost halved the number of chimney fires in county during the last decade, but there were still 67 chimney fires recorded in Warwickshire during 2011/12.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, the National Association of Chimney Sweeps and HETAS have joined forces to urge householders to ensure their chimney is safe and to have their chimney swept by a registered chimney sweep.
Open fires not only warm up a home, but also create a unique relaxing ambience.
With the numbers of people using open fires growing, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service have provided some top tips for safer chimneys:
• Always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers
• Make sure embers are properly put out before you go to bed
• Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained
“In order to keep you and your family safe from fire, you need to take necessary steps such as ensuring your chimney is swept regularly, depending upon what fuel you burn and I would urge all householders to have a working smoke alarm in their home.”
“While we are showing a continued downward trend in chimney fires in Warwickshire, there is a fashion now back towards using open fires in homes and we do not want to see the number of chimney fires increase. Nationally the latest statistics show that there are approximately 6,000 chimney fires a year in England, most of these are preventable.”
Martin P Glynn, the President of the National Association of Chimney Sweeps, added: “All chimneys and flue-ways should be cleaned and checked during the summer months to ensure they’re free from debris and in full working order before the heating season. A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisonings so it’s very important to employ a professional qualified Chimney Sweep such as those certified by NACS.”