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Time for a clean sweep to prevent chimney fires

Fire news (4137145)
Fire news (4137145)

As Autumn approaches and open fires and log burners are being stoked up, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue are urging residents to ensure their chimney is safe to use.

Now is the time to consider having your chimneys swept before they are used as the onset of cooler weather hits the county.

The county's firefighters were called to 93 separate fires contained within the chimney of family homes last winter, between October 17 last year and April 30 this year.

That figure was higher than the same period in the previous winter and Community Fire Safety manager Lee Marsh is keen to reverse that trend.

"Every year, as the colder weather approaches, we see a spike in the number of call-outs we receive to chimney fires," said Lee.

"Those 93 call-outs last winter could have been avoided with simple maintenance.

"So this is why we recommend that all chimneys and flues should be cleaned and checked during the summer months to ensure they are free from debris and in good working order.

"A blocked or defective chimney can cause distressing and expensive chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning so it is essential to employ a professional and qualified chimney sweep.

“While it is important to sweep your chimney at this time of year it is also important to have your boiler tested to ensure it is also safe.

"I would strongly advice everyone to get it checked now before the engineers are busy and before you need it with the autumnal weather coming.”

Chimneys should be swept as follows:

- Wood: up to four times a year;

- Oil: once a year;

- Gas: once a year;

- Bituminous coal: twice a year; and

- Smokeless coals: at least once a year.

For more information, visit Chimney Fire Safety Week

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