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Winter safety – Chimneys

Winter safety – Chimneys

Winter is the time of year for relaxing in front of the fireplace, but chimney fires should not be underestimated and can result in devastating damage to your home

Top tips for avoiding a chimney fire

  • Keep your chimney and flue clean and well maintained
  • Ensure the fire is extinguished properly before going to bed or leaving
  • Never interrupt the air supply by blocking air vents or air bricks
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them regularly

How often should you clean your chimney?

  • Wood – four times a year when in use
  • Coal – at least twice per year
  • Smokeless fuels – at least once a year
  • Oil and gas – once per year

How do you know if you have a chimney fire?

  • You could hear a loud roaring noise
  • Sparks and flames are coming from the top of the chimney
  • Flames through tiny cracks or the connector is glowing
  • A smoke or burning smell in adjoining rooms or loft space

What to do if you have a chimney fire

  • Your first option should be to ring 999, get out and stay out
  • If it is safe for you to do so though, shut all air vents and flue dampers to reduce oxygen supply
  • Move flammable materials such as furniture away from the fireplace
  • If you have a stove, don’t pour water on it

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