It was Chimney Safety Week last week, which reminded me to call the chimney sweep. So this seems like a good time to remind everyone else to do this before winter sets in and we have to light the fire.
The frequency of having your chimney swept depends on the type of fuel you use. We use wood on our fire, and the advice for this is to have the chimney sweep in every quarter when it is in use. If you use smokeless fuel, the interval falls to once a year.
It’s not just chimney fires which can be caused by a blocked flue: there is also the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. To prevent both, the advice given is as follows:
- Have chimneys swept regularly.
- Maintain chimneys and flues properly.
- Use a fire guard to protect against sparks.
- Make sure the fire is out before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Use good quality fuel.
- Make sure air vents or bricks aren’t blocked and that the room is ventilated.
Apparently, there are on average 31,000 chimney fires in the UK each year, and we have helped many people with their insurance claim after this has happened to them. These fires can be devastating – and they are so easily preventable. So call the chimney sweep now.