CHESHIRE Fire & Rescue Service is urging all residents with chimneys in Cheshire West & Chester to take extra care this winter following a number of chimney fires in the area last year.
From April 1 2007–March 31 2008, firefighters were called to 36 chimney fires in Cheshire West & Chester. Therefore fire crews and the National Association of Chimney Sweeps are advising residents to follow some simple safety tips:
Chimneys using these types of fuels should be cleaned as follows:
• Smokeless fuels – at least once a year
• Bitumous coal – at least twice a year
• Wood – quarterly when in use
• Oil – once a year &
• Gas – once a year
• Chimneys must have good ventilation and be cleaned properly to stop the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
• All fires should be fully extinguished before you go to bed or leave the house.
• You should never use petrol or paraffin to light your fire.
• You should always keep children and pets away from a burning fire &
• You should never burn paper or other materials in an open fire.
Warning signs to look out for include excessive smoke, embers falling back into the hearth, the walls of the chimney breast or adjacent walls becoming very hot to touch or even flames showing from the pot.
John Salt, group manager for Cheshire West & Cheshire, said: “Now that the weather is turning colder, people will obviously want to use their fires to keep warm. We are keen to raise awareness about chimney fires as we were called to 36 up until March this year in this area alone.
“Therefore I would like to urge all residents who have a house with a chimney, to take extra care and follow our safety tips in order to stay warm and safe this winter.”
For more information and advice, residents can visit the website – www.cheshirefire.gov.uk or alternatively contact the National Association of Chimney Sweeps on Tel: 01785 811732 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org