Warwickshire residents are warned to check their chimneys as Warwickshire Fire and Rescue has attended a series of chimney fires across the county recently.
The Fire and Rescue Service has been called out to chimney fire incidents in Leamington Spa, Rugby and Northend just in the last seven days.
Residents are reminded that chimneys must be swept regularly by approved chimney sweeps as consistent maintenance eliminates the build-up of soot from coal, wood, oil and gas-fired systems.
Chimneys require sweeping at different intervals depending on the fuel used.
Chimneys which use smokeless fuel or bituminous coal - at least once a year
Chimneys which use oil - once a year
Chimneys which use wood - quarterly when in use
Residents should also go into their lofts occasionally to check the chimney when the fire is alight. They can check for smoke from cracks, defective brickwork or mortar joints. These indicate repair work is needed.
Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Fire and Rescue and Community Safety at Warwickshire County Council said: “We want everyone to stay safe during the colder months this year. I would encourage homeowners to think about the last time their chimney was swept and to plan ahead to the next time it will be required. Please make sure that all embers are extinguished before you go to bed and make use of a fire guard to protect against flying hot sparks.”
Chimney fires are often preventable but if the worst should happen, a smoke alarm can give people the extra time they need to escape in a house fire.
For more information on chimney fire safety visit: https://warwickshire.gov.uk/chimneyfiresafety