Date: 31st August, 2021
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) is again supporting the national Chimney Fire Safety Week, which runs this year from 30 August until 5 September.
Organised by HETAS – the Heating Equipment Testing and Approvals Scheme – as part of the Government’s Fire Kills campaign, the awareness week calls for homeowners to act responsibly and get their chimneys swept by an approved sweep. This prevents chimney damage, and, in worst cases, household fires.
DWFRS Safe & Well Manager, Vikki Thomas, said: “A clean chimney can help prevent fires and structural damage to your property. Getting a qualified chimney sweep to inspect your chimney regularly, and using a quality assured fuel, are the keys to prevention. As well as removing soot and tar deposits, and clearing obstructions such as bird or animal nests, leaves and debris, the sweep will also check for any problems with the chimney or liner.”
Having attended nearly 170 chimney fires across its area in 2020-21, the Service has issued the following safety advice for anyone who has a working chimney at home:
- Don’t use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin to light your fire.
- Don’t burn excessive amounts of paper or rubbish.
- Don’t overload the fire with fuel.
- Take advice from your chimney sweep on how often they should visit, the type of fire you have can impact on this.
- Always get the chimney swept before the colder weather sets in.
- Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at home, and test them regularly.
For more top tips for staying fire safe at home, please visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safety-at-home. If you have any fire safety concerns, you can also request a free Safe & Well visit, where someone will visit you to help you assess the fire risk in your home and offer support and guidance. Call free on 0800 038 2323 or apply online.