Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has launched its annual Chimney Safety Campaign and is urging people to consider the safety of their chimneys. Before the cold nights draw in, make sure you keep your family and your home safe, by having your chimney swept regularly.
SFRS is launching chimney safety campaign with an open invitation to the public to visit its outreach vehicle at Sainsbury’s in Oswestry on Wednesday 5th September 2018.
Vulnerable Persons Officer, Laura Kavanagh-Jones said: “Everyone is welcome to come along and talk to our officers about chimney safety and perhaps take the opportunity to have one of our new Safe & Well visits.”
During the week-long campaign the fire service will be promoting chimney safety on via social media. Since April there have been 9 chimney fires in Shropshire and the fire service says most of these were preventable.
“A chimney fire can cause a great deal of damage and leave a terrible mess and has the potential to cause injury and even death,” Laura Kavanagh-Jones added.
The fire service has issued these tips to help prevent chimney fires:
- Have your chimney swept at least once a year. Your chimney must be kept clean to prevent fires and structural damage to your property. Regular cleaning of your chimney or flues eliminates the build-up of soot and clears obstructions such as bird and animal nests, leaves and debris.
- Ensure your chimney flue is inspected at regular intervals to prevent fire breaking out of the chimney. Go into the loft occasionally when the fire is alight to check for smoke from cracks, defective brickwork or mortar joints.
- Make sure you have appliances installed and serviced by competent engineers.
- Chimneys that are clogged by soot and smoke can cause a build-up of deadly carbon monoxide so remember to fit a carbon monoxide detector and never block air bricks, vents or flues.
- Do not use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin to light your fire, or burn paper or rubbish. Also, do not use unseasoned wood which leaves tar deposits inside chimneys and flues which can catch fire.
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarms in your home and test them every week.
You can find a chimney sweep in your area by contacting The National Association of Chimney Sweeps - http://nacs.org.uk/sweep-search/
If you would like to request a free safe & well visit please contact the Prevention team on 01743 260200