Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding residents to keep warm safely as Storm Emma brings more cold weather to the county.
“With temperatures set to stay very low over coming days we’re reminding residents to take care when using open fires, log burners and heaters in their homes."
The Service has received reports of chimney fires and carbon monoxide alarm activations, as more people are using log burners and open fires to heat their homes during the cold spell.
At around 6.45pm, on Wednesday February 28, crews from Stone responded to a report of a chimney fire in Lichfield Road. Thankfully the log burner fire was safely extinguished and firefighters checked the chimney to make sure there were no hotspots.
A Newcastle-under-Lyme resident also suffered a chimney fire on Tuesday February 27. Crews were called to the home in Heathcote Road just after 5.25pm and found the chimney was well alight. Firefighters from Longton used the Aerial Ladder Platform and a hose reel jet to extinguish the fire from above.
Firefighters from Biddulph, Sandyford, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Kidsgrove and Burslem also attended. Thankfully no one was injured but the home suffered smoke and water damage, crews also had to open access to the chimney from a first floor bedroom to extinguish hotspots within the chimney stack.
Dave Steele, Station Manager, said: “With temperatures set to stay very low over coming days we’re reminding residents to take care when using open fires, log burners and heaters in their homes.
“We know the cold greatly increases the risk to elderly residents so please take a minute to check on any older relatives, friends and neighbours to make sure they’re okay and keeping warm safely.
“To keep you and your family safe from fire it is absolutely essential that you check that your chimney is in good working order before using it. Chimneys need to be swept on a regular basis by a qualified sweep such as those certified by National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS). A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Equally portable heaters can be a deadly fire risk if flammable items are left near them or they are knocked over, make sure they are placed in a suitable position where they won’t pose a tripping hazard.
“Each level of your home should have one working smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm, and these should be tested weekly.”
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service encourage those with log burners or open fires to follow the below safety advice:
More tips and advice on winter safety can be found on the Service’s website here.