The aim of Chimney Fire Safety Week is to raise awareness of the importance of ensuring that chimneys are swept regularly and are clean and safe for use – fuel quality is also an important factor in the prevention of chimney fires.
The Fire Kills campaign has worked closely with HETAS, the NationaL Association of Chimney Sweeps and the Institute of Chimney Sweeps to drum up interest in this awareness week.
The key messages are:
• Ensure your chimney is swept regularly
• Chimneys should be swept according to the type of fuel used:
- Smokeless fuels – at least once a year
- Bitumous coal – at least twice a year
- Wood – quarterly when in use
- Oil – once a year
- Gas – once a year (Any work on gas appliances requires a Gas Safe registered installer/engineer)
• Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained
• Be careful when using open fires to keep warm. Make sure you always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers
• Ensure the fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house
• Ensure good quality fuel is used
• Never interrupt the air supply by blocking air vents or air bricks
• Fit a smoke alarm
• Fit a carbon monoxide alarm – if there is a blockage anywhere in the chimney then the carbon monoxide generated by burning fuel will not escape properly. This gas is deadly.
For further information on chimney safety, you can visit the association websites – www.nacs.org.uk / www.instituteofchimneysweeps.com.