Ninety chimney fires were dealt with by West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service last winter.
And as the weather starts to turn colder a reminder has gone out urging all residents across West Sussex to have their chimney professionally swept, in an effort to reduce the number of fires.
The fire service say that the 90 fires is a statistic that could be easily reduced if every resident with a chimney had the flue swept regularly; keeping the chimney clean significantly reduces the risk of fire.
Phil Maynard, WSFRS Station Manager, explains: “We can’t stress enough the importance of getting your chimney flue inspected by a competent chimney sweep. A clean chimney will help to prevent chimney fires, possible carbon monoxide poisoning and potential structural damage. Our firefighters do a fantastic job in responding to home fires but we would rather not have to come visit you at all!”
WSFRS advice on staying safe from fire:
• Employ a registered chimney sweep to clean your chimney, never attempt it yourself
• Sweep chimneys once a year with appliances using smokeless fuel, gas or those that are oil fired
• Sweep those using coal twice a year
• Sweep wood burning chimneys quarterly while in use
• Use fire or spark guards to help prevent a serious fire
• Always ensure the fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house
• Never block air bricks, vents or flues
• Always fit a carbon monoxide detector
• If you haven’t already done so, fit a smoke alarm.
For more safety advice and information on how to prevent chimney fires, visit: www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/chimneys.