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East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Chimney fires can be devastating – Don’t let it happen to you

Date : 14 September 2017

Hailsham fire August 2017.jpg
Autumn is here and as the weather starts to turn colder, many of us will be starting to think about making our homes warmer. We are taking this opportunity to remind local residents to have their chimney swept in an effort to reduce the number of chimney fires.

During 1st November 2016 and 31st August 2017 East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service
dealt with 135 chimney fires. It’s a statistic that could easily be reduced if more homeowners got their chimney flues swept regularly. Sweeping your chimney twice a year and using a quality assured fuel is the key to prevention. Not only does this remove soot and tar deposits, but also gives the sweeps the opportunity to check for any problems with the chimney or liner.

Steve Wright, Community Safety Team Leader, said: “Getting your chimney swept is a quick and hassle-free process. To keep you and your family safe it’s important to have your chimney swept regularly depending on what fuel you burn. This should be done before the colder months set in and you begin to use your fire again.

“If the worst should happen, working smoke alarms will give you an early warning and a fire-plan can help you ensure your family’s escape in a fire. Make sure you have at least one working smoke alarm on every floor of the property and test them regularly and don’t keep this advice to yourself – pass it on. Is there anyone you know who mauy need your help in organisisng a chimney sweep or testing their alarms?

The National association of Chimney Sweeps strongly recommends that chimneys using the following fuels are cleaned:

Smokeless fuels:
At least once a year
Bitumous Coal:
At least twice a year
Wood: Quarterly when in use
Oil: At least once a year
Gas: At least twice a year
Bilomass: At least once a year


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