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Reminder to keep chimneys swept

Date: 3rd January, 2017

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding local people of the importance of getting their chimneys swept.

Safe & Well Manager Vikki Thomas said: “During these cold winter months, people light fires more often. Most chimney fires can be prevented by ensuring that the chimney or flue is clear of debris. To keep you and your family safe from fire, you should make sure that your chimney is swept regularly.”

How often a chimney should be swept depends on the type of fuel being burned:

Ms Thomas added: “Just during December, we dealt with 15 chimney fires in Wiltshire and 17 in Dorset, and many of them could have been easily avoided. Blocked or defective chimney flues also carry the risk of leading to carbon monoxide poisoning, so it’s vital that you employ a professional and qualified chimney sweep to ensure that your home is safe.”

As well as getting chimneys swept, local people are encouraged to fit smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. Ms Thomas said: “Smoke alarms are inexpensive and can be bought in DIY stores and at many supermarkets. Statistics have proved that you’re four times more likely to survive a fire if you have a working smoke alarm. In addition, it’s entirely possible to be exposed to carbon monoxide fumes without being aware of it, so having such an alarm will alert you to the danger before it’s too late.”

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service offers free safe and well visits to householders – to see if you qualify, call 0800 038 2323 or visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safe-and-well-visits

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