Warwickshire residents are being reminded to look after chimneys to prevent household fires.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is calling on homeowners to act responsibly and get their chimneys swept by an approved sweep. This prevents chimney damage and, in worse cases, household fires that can pose a threat to life. Fire and Rescue Services in England attended 3,105 chimney fires in the last recorded year with the majority of these occurring in the autumn and winter months between October 2020 and March 2021.
Bruce Allen, CEO of Heating Equipment Testing and Approvals Scheme (HETAS), said: “Sweeping your chimney twice a year and using a quality assured fuel is the key to prevention. Not only does this remove soot and tar deposits, but it also gives sweeps the opportunity to check for any problems with the chimney or liner.”
The colder weather will be drawing in across the later weeks of September and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is providing this reminder to prevent household fires in the county as people begin to use fires to heat their homes.
Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Fire and Rescue and Community Safety at Warwickshire County Council said: “I would encourage homeowners to have their chimney swept regularly before the colder months set in and they begin to use their fire again. The time to act is now while we experience the last remainders of the warmer summer weather. Should a fire start unexpectedly, a working smoke alarm can give you an early warning of the danger and a fire plan can also ensure people inside the affected building can escape the fire.”
Warwickshire residents are advised to have at least one smoke alarm on every floor of their home and a carbon monoxide detector in every room with a gas or fuelled appliance such as a boiler or gas fire. Carbon Monoxide detectors can reveal deadly gas build-ups from heating and cooking appliances fuelled by coal, wood, oil or gas if they are faulty, have been poorly installed or fallen in to disrepair through lack of maintenance.
For more information on maintaining a chimney and how members of the public can help with fire prevention, please visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fire-safety/chimney-fire-safety-advice.