IT’S CHIMNEY FIRE SAFETY WEEK from Monday 10th until Sunday 16th September 2012, and firefighters are urging residents who have open fires in their home, to have their chimneys swept in preparation for the colder months.
Over the last 12 months Humberside Fire and Rescue Service say they have attended over 100 chimney related fires, many of which could be easily avoided.
Daryl Oprey, Head of Safety at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I urge people who have open fires in their home to have their chimney swept at least once a year as poorly maintained chimneys can increase the risk of a fire breaking out.
Chimney Fire Safety Week is an ideal time to get chimneys swept before the colder nights set in and helps ensure everyone in the household is safe from possible chimney related fires.”
Chimney fires usually start when high temperatures or flames from a very hot fire spread into the outlet or flue and the combustible deposits inside ignite. This can cause the fire spread into the roof space or floor cavity and can cause extensive damage, as well as endangering lives.
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.”
Following these few simple steps can reduce the risk of a fire breaking out:
- Chimneys must be swept at least once a year but this should be more often if wood is burned on an open fire as resin builds up in the chimney
- Flues to wood burners must also be inspected to ensure that heat cannot pass through to a combustible beam or roof structure
- A fire guard should be kept in front of a burning fire
- Fires should be extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house
- Petrol or paraffin should never be used to light a fire
- Smoke detectors should be fitted on every storey of your property and checked weekly
Working smoke alarms save lives. Have one fitted on each level of your home and test it weekly.