There’s no doubt about it – there is definitely a nip in the air and as autumn starts many of us will be putting our fires on again and if you have a real fire of any kind – it’s important to follow a few safety tips.
The National Association of Chimney Sweeps advises that a smokeless fuel appliance should be swept at least once a year, wood should be swept quarterly and bituminous coal should also be swept quarterly.
It’s important to sweep your fire as its impossible to know what dangers may be lurking in the chimney. Blockages from birds’ nests, soot, cobwebs and many other things are common and regular sweeping will ensure there are no major issues. When a chimney does get blocked it interferes with the release of combustion gases which can be dangerous.
Statistics suggest there are over 30,000 annual chimney fires in the UK and the majority of which will be because a chimney has not been swept. Damage to the chimney structure and other combustible parts of the house are not uncommon and worryingly for homeowners, some insurance companies won’t pay out unless you have a valid certificate of sweeping. Find a local chimney sweep in your area through the National Association of Chimney Sweeps.
Finally, if you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector then please invest in one. Many people wrongly assume that carbon monoxide is only an issue with gas fires, but it can occur with solid fires as well. It’s recommended they are put into any room with a fuel burning device and you should follow the installation instructions correctly to ensure they are placed in the right spot.
Everyone appreciates an open fire or a real fire in winter and you really can’t beat them – however, ensuring they are maintained well will keep it, your home and your family safe for the next year.