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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Reminder Following Cheadle Chimney Fire

04/01/2013

Cheadle firefighters have issued a reminder to local residents to ensure they have their chimneys swept regularly following a chimney fire in Brookhouses on January 2.

"Firefighters across the county have attended a number of chimney fires recently and the reason for the fire is almost always because the chimney has not been swept for some time."

Station Manager, Ed Case

Crews were called to the property at 3.43pm and due to the amount of soot build-up in the chimney, it took three and a half hours to fully extinguish.

The property also did not have any working smoke alarms which meant the house had filled with a considerable amount of smoke before the occupiers, who were home at the time, realised what was happening.

Station Manager, Ed Case said: “We have already issued several reminders prior to the colder weather setting in for people to make sure they have their chimneys swept before using fires.

“It is important to have chimney’s cleared at least once a year and the best time to do this is towards the end of summer before the colder weather hits. A lot of people however don’t bother to do this, often for years, and the result could be a chimney fire which might destroy your home.

“It isn’t just soot which accumulates in chimneys, birds sometimes build nests or become trapped themselves causing a blockage which is why yearly maintenance at least is important, as it’s likely you’d be unaware of any blockage yourself.

“Firefighters across the county have attended a number of chimney fires recently and the reason for the fire is almost always because the chimney has not been swept for some time.

“Chimney fires are long, arduous jobs which can also result in road closures, as the aerial ladder platform is often required to spray water down the chimney and this appliance needs a lot of space to be set up in.

“These fires can also go unnoticed for some time if working smoke alarms are not in place because the fire would be hidden by the chimney breast and if you’re not in the room or home at the time, there are no smoke alarms to alert anyone to the fire.

“This is why having working smoke alarms on each level of the home is very important and they should be tested weekly. If you don’t have working smoke alarms, we can help you out as part of a free Home Fire Risk Check. Simply call 0800 0241 999 to book one and we’ll come out to your property to talk to you about fire safety, smoke alarms and escape routes.”

Firefighters will be returning to the affected property in the coming days to fit new smoke alarms and carry out a full Home Fire Risk Check.

They left the scene at 7.20pm.