To help keep your home safe from a chimney fire, follow these steps:
- Ensure your chimney is swept regularly by a professional and remind your friends and family to get theirs swept. Tradespeople are permitted to continue working provided COVID-19 measures are adhered to.
- Keep chimneys, flues and appliances clean and well maintained.
- Be careful when using open fires to keep warm. Make sure you always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers.
- Use the appropriate fuel for your appliance – some appliances will be suitable for wood only, some are multi-fuel – check your appliance instructions.
- Never interrupt the air supply by blocking air vents or air bricks.
- Avoid ‘slumbering’ an appliance (unless it has been tested as safe to do so). Slumber mode is when an appliance is purposely set at a low or minimum output normally for overnight burning to be revived in the morning without the need for relighting.
- Never store the fuel next to an appliance.
- Appliances that have been lined still require regular sweeping.
Chimneys should be swept according to the type of fuel used, the following advice can help prevent chimney damage, and, in the worst cases, household fires:
- Smokeless fuels – at least once a year.
- Bituminous coal – at least twice a year.
- Wood – quarterly when in use.
- Oil – once a year.
- Gas – once a year (any work on gas appliances requires a Gas Safe registered installer or engineer).