Firefighters are urging residents to ensure their chimneys are safe following two fires yesterday (September 26).

Householders are being encouraged to have their chimney’s swept by a registered chimney sweep to ensure they are not at risk of catching fire and to prevent damage following two chimney fires in Knutsford and Tarvin yesterday.

The first was reported on Warrington Road in Mere, Knutsford after a birds nest had fallen down a flue into the fire place, causing a fire.

The second was in Tarvin and caused a fire in the bedroom of a Broomheath Lane property.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is advising residents to always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers, to make sure embers are properly put out before going to bed and to keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained.

It is also advising people to clean their chimneys at least once a year.

Nick Evans, head of prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “To keep you and your family safe from fire you should make sure you have your chimney swept regularly, depending on what fuel you burn, before the colder months set in and you begin to use your fire again.

“A stove or open fire can be an ideal and pleasant way to keep warm in the winter, but without proper maintenance a chimney can become dangerous.

“Latest statistics show that there are over 5,000 chimney fires a year in England, but most of these are preventable.

“All chimneys and flues should be cleaned and checked during the summer months to ensure they’re free from debris and in full working order before the heating season.

“A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisonings so it’s very important to employ a professional qualified chimney sweep.

“If the worst should happen, working smoke alarms can give you the early warning, and a fire-plan can help you ensure your family’s escape in a fire – make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them weekly or, at the very least, monthly.”

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