With summer drawing to a close, Chimney Fire Safety Week provides a timely reminder to make sure that your chimney is safe.
As part of this national Fire Kills campaign, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service is urging local people to make sure their chimney is swept by a registered chimney sweep before lighting the first fire of the winter.
Open fires are a warm, welcoming addition to the home but they do carry risks. If you have an open fire, you should:
· Always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers.
· Make sure that embers are properly put out before you leave the property or go to bed.
· Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained.
Watch Manager Neil Chamberlain, from the community safety department, said: “With the colder winter months looming, people will begin to light fires and use their chimneys again. Most chimney fires can be prevented by ensuring that the chimney or flue is clear of debris. To keep you and your family safe from fire, you should make sure that your chimney is swept regularly – and always have working smoke alarms in your home.”
How regularly a chimney should be swept depends on the type of fuel being burned:
Smokeless coals – At least once a year
Wood – Up to four times a year
Bituminous coal – Twice a year
Oil – Once a year
Gas – Once a year
Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service offers free home fire safety advice to householders – to see if you qualify for a visit, call 0800 389 7849 or visit www.wiltsfire.gov.uk