Do you own a holiday home?  Does your property have an open fire or wood burning stove?  Have you considered the risk of fire associated with their use? 

With the nights’ drawing in and the clocks soon to change, we are starting to prepare for the colder evenings when we can snuggle down, keep warm and create a cosy atmosphere.  However, there are risks we all must be aware of to prevent chimney fires.  Now is the time to ensure your chimney is clean and very importantly, have it swept before your first fire.  Thatched propertied are at greater risk, as fire can spread rapidly.  Just one spark is all it takes to ignite a thatched roof.

Some things to consider:

  • Has your solid fuel/wood burning stove been professionally installed and maintained by a HETAS Registered Company?
  • Are your fuel supplies appropriately stored i.e. away from the stove or fire?
  • Do you have a carbon monoxide alarm?
  • Are your smoke alarms in good working order?
  • Do you have the appropriate safety equipment in your home i.e. fire blankets, fire extinguishers and a fire guard?
  • Have you considered an escape plan for your guests which is accessible?

How often should your chimney be cleaned?  If you burn wood, it is recommended that your chimney is cleaned every 3 months. Whereas for smokeless fuels, it is recommended the chimney is cleaned on a yearly basis and twice a year if burning coal (Source – DS Fire & Rescue Service).

With the current cost of living crisis, many more people are returning to burning solid fuels rather than using gas and electricity to heat their homes – you may even have a previously disused fireplace you have decided to re-open.  Whether your property is for guests or it’s your own home, to prevent fire, ensure you have your chimney cleaned by an accredited chimney sweep who can provide you with a certificate.  Don’t try and do it yourself. 

Useful links:

https://www.hetas.co.uk/   A good resource for finding a competent contractor

https://www.aico.co.uk/  Manufacturer of good quality smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

https://solidfuel.co.uk/  For more information om solid fuels

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