Monday, 25 February 2013

Rise in chimney fires sparks safety warning


People are being urged to sweep their chimney on a regular basis following a sharp increase in the number of chimney fires over the past two months.

This year, there have been 82 chimney fires (between 1st January and 25th February) compared to 60 for the same period for last year and this month alone there have already been 42 chimney fires.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service takes these figures seriously and would like to encourage homeowners to follow the necessary precautions to safeguard against fire.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service wishes to remind householders of the importance of ensuring that chimneys are swept regularly and are clean and safe for use. 

Steve Wright, Community Safety Manager, said: "Chimney fires are a common cause of fire in dwellings and can cause widespread damage.

“An open fire is an ideal way to keep warm but without proper maintenance a chimney can become dangerous. In the last two years alone we have attended more than 455 incidents involving chimney fires.”

"To keep yourself and your family safe from fire you should have your chimney swept regularly. 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."

Please follow these safety tips:
  • Ensure your chimney is swept regularly
  • Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained
  • Be careful when using open fires to keep warm. Make sure you always protect against flying sparks from hot embers
  • Ensure the fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house
  • Chimneys should be swept according to the type of fuel used (always consult your NACS chimney sweep for advice).
  • Never interrupt the air supply by blocking air vents or air bricks
To find a certified chimney sweep, or for more information on chimney fire safety, please visit www.nacs.org.uk - External Link or guildofmasterchimneysweeps.co.uk/

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