Residents reminded to be cautious around the use of log burners

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is warning residents about the dangers of log burners following a recent incident.

Crews from Biddulph, Hanley and Sandyford attended a property off Colclough Lane, Sandyford, just before 6.40pm on Thursday (20 October) following reports of a log burner fire.

One breathing apparatus and one hose reel jet was used to extinguish the fire.

All persons were accounted for and thankfully no one was injured.

It is believed the fire was caused accidentally as a result of a candle being placed on top of the log burner.

Kelly Rafferty, Prevent Delivery Lead at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “If you are burning wood, make sure that it is completely dried. Don’t burn unseasoned, wet, soft or tanalised wood as they leave greater tar deposits which increases the chimney fire risk.

"Please ensure combustibles are stored safely including seasoned logs and avoid storing these next to burners and open fires due to the radiated heat increasing the likelihood of them catching fire  

“We attend numerous chimney fires every year. By having regular inspections and cleaning, these fires can be prevented.”

Here are our top tips for minimising the risk of a chimney fire:

We strongly recommend that the chimney is cleaned regularly and in line with the below guidelines.

  • Wood - Quarterly when in use
  • Smokeless fuels - at least once a year
  • Bituminous Coal - at least twice a year
  • Oil - at least twice a year
  • Gas - at least twice a year
  • Biomass - at least once a year

Kelly also advises on how residents can stay warm at home safely this winter. She said: “To avoid accidental ignition, store wood, and other fuel away from the fire or stove.

“If you’re burning wood, make sure that it’s completely dried out and always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers.

“Never use petrol or paraffin to light your fire and leave matches and lighters out of reach of children- consider buying child resistant lighters and match boxes to reduce the risk.

“Make sure you choose the correct size appliance for your room (seek advice for this) and always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on fuel loading and air flow if you have a stove.

“And always ensure good quality fuel is used- more information about how to buy the correct fuel can be found on the HETAS website.”