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Chimney safety

A clean chimney can help prevent fires and structural damage to your property. Regular cleaning of your chimney or flue will eliminate the build-up of soot and clear obstructions such as bird or animal nests, leaves and debris.

It is not enough to use a vacuum cleaner and you should make sure that your chimney or flue is inspected regularly.

Chimneys should be swept:

The following safety advice should always be followed when lighting an open fire or woodburning stove:

When the fire is alight, check the loft space occasionally to make sure there is no smoke leaking from cracks, defective brickwork or mortar joints.

Safe disposal of hot ash and embers

Hot ash from woodburners and fireplaces can take several days to cool thoroughly; as such, it can be a fire and carbon monoxide hazard.

Store ash and hot coals in a metal container that can be tightly closed with a metal lid. This helps keep air from blowing through and disturbing the ashes, which can leave hot coals exposed for re-ignition.

Coal ash should always be disposed of safely, check with your local council for specific guidance for disposal of fully cooled ash into general waste. There are many uses for fully cooled wood stove ash, including in compost (wood ash is good for the ground, visit the RHS website for more), on icy surfaces. and to protect vegetables from slugs and snails.

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