Public Safety News: Chimney Fire Safety Week 2017

Chimney Fire Safety Week 2017

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has attended over 120 chimney incidences since 2014. Across England there are over 5,000 chimney fires a year.

Chimney Fire Safety Week 2017 (4 to 10 September) reminds people that while real fires can give a home a warm and homely atmosphere, they also have risks.

Chimney Fire Safety Week advice from Andy Martin, Community Fire Safety Officer at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (C) Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

 

 

 

Andy Martin, Community Fire Safety Officer, said:

“A stove or open fire can be an ideal and pleasant way to keep warm in the winter, but without proper maintenance a chimney or flue can become dangerous.

Chimneys need regular cleaning

There is not just a risk of fire, unmaintained chimneys could also result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Both can be prevented by a few simple precautions.

Martin said:

“All chimneys and flues should be cleaned and checked after the summer months to ensure they’re free from debris and in full working order before lighting any fires in the colder weather.

“A blocked or defective chimney or flue can cause both chimney/flue fires and carbon monoxide poisoning so it is very important to get them swept by a professional qualified Chimney Sweep.”

How often should you have your chimney swept?

  • 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

Top tips to enjoy an open fire safely:

As well as keeping chimneys and flues clean and well maintained, real fire users should:

  • 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

“If the worst should happen, working smoke alarms can give you the early warning, and a fire-plan can help you ensure your family’s safe escape in a fire – make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them monthly.

“And don’t keep this advice to yourself – pass it on. Is there anyone you know who may need your help in organising a sweep or testing their alarms?”

 

Certified Chimney Sweeps, and more information on chimney fire safety can be found at www.hetas.co.uk.

Station Open Day at Woburn 2 Sept 2017 (C) Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Find out more at a Fire Station Open Day

There are still several Fire Station Open Days running in 2017. Attendees can find out why it is essential to get their chimneys swept after the dormant summer months

  • Leighton Buzzard – 9 September
  • Sandy – 10 September
  • Biggleswade – 16 September
  • Kempston  – 23 September
  • Toddington – 23 September

Up-to-date times and dates for these open days can be found at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Station Events page.