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Have your chimney swept regularly - an unswept chimney can catch fire

on Mon, 06/09/2021 - 2:42pm

Real fires create a warm and homely atmosphere but bring with them extra risks. A poorly maintained chimney, hearth or fireplace can increase the risk of fire breaking out in your home.

By taking a few extra precautions you can enjoy the glow of a real fire and make sure you and your family stay safe.

If you have a chimney - get it swept - is the message from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. A chimney can become dangerous and a potential source of a far more serious fire.

Tips for open fires

  • Have your chimney swept at least once a year – more frequently if you burn wood
  • Always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers
  • Make sure embers are properly put out before you go to bed
  • Only burn suitable fuels and don’t overload your fire place
  • Never place hot ashes in a wheelie bin
  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it weekly
  • Make a fire escape plan
  • Fit and carbon monoxide alarm and test it weekly.

Visit for advice on smoke alarms, escape plans and chimney fire safety.

How often should you have your chimney swept?

  • Oil - Once a year
  • Gas - Once a year
  • Bituminous coal - Twice a year
  • Wood - Up to four times a year
  • Smokeless coals - At least once a year

Other top winter fire safety tips

  • Never air or dry clothing near open fires or portable heaters.
  • Do not leave candles unattended, make sure they are in a proper holder and remember to extinguish them before you leave a room or go to bed.
  • Never use hot water bottles in the same bed as an electric blanket, even if the blanket is switched off.
  • Unplug electric blankets before you get into bed, unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night use and check regularly for wear and tear.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm and test it weekly.
  • Have a fire escape plan.

Local chimney sweeps

Here's a Google search result for local chimney sweeps:-

Or visit The National Association of Chimney Sweeps website or ring 01785 811732 to find a local registered chimney sweep. Go to the National Association of Chimney Engineers website or call 01526 322555 to get in touch with a local registered structural chimney engineer.

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