Chimney fire safety

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service firefighters attend numerous chimney fires every year. By having regular inspections and cleaning, these fires can be prevented.

Chimney fire safety top tips

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
    • Bitumous Coal - at least twice a year
    • Oil - at least twice a year
    • Gas - at least twice a year
    • Biomass - at least once a year
  • The best times to have your chimney swept are just before the start of the heating season and after any prolonged period of shut-down.
  • If you are burning wood, make sure that it is completely dried out.
  • Ensure that 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.
  • Always leave matches and lighters out of reach of children- consider buying child resistant lighters and match boxes to reduce the risk.
  • Remember a blocked or defective chimney can cause carbon monoxide poisoning from gas or solid wood fires.
  • Always ensure good quality fuel is used- more information about how to buy the correct fuel can be found on the HETAS website.
  • Always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers. Make sure you store all fuel away from an open fire or stove. Never use petrol or paraffin to light your fire.

For more information about chimney fire safety visit the website for the National Association of Chimney Sweeps.

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