Tips and Advice
- Ensure your chimney is swept regularly
- Remind your friends and family to get theirs swept.
Chimneys should be swept according to the type of fuel being used:
- 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 (refer to Gas Safe Register)
Things to consider
- 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
- Ensure the fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house
- 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.
- Chimneys that have been lined still require regular sweeping
Fuel for thought!
- Use the appropriate fuel for your appliance – some appliances will be suitable for wood only, some are multi-fuel – check your appliance instructions
- Never store the fuel next to the appliance
- When burning logs look for a fuel that is 20% moisture content or lower – source your fuel from an accredited supplier – visit Woodsure to find your local wood fuel supplier. woodsure.co.uk
- Get a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in accordance with Building Regulations (and test regularly)
- Last year over 200 people died in fires in the home. You’re at least 4 times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no working smoke alarm.
Responsibilities for the maintenance of chimneys.
Renters and owners
Any person that uses flue appliances has a responsibility to maintain the appliance and flue. It is often stated that people should take reasonable care within the terms of household insurance policies and in the instance of thatched properties, the frequency of sweeping required is often specified by the insurers.
Landlords have a duty of care to their tenants and are required: To repair and keep in working order, any room heater and water heating equipment.
After a chimney fire
After a chimney fire has occurred it must be inspected thoroughly as soon as possible by a Certified Sweep before the chimney is used again. This is to ascertain if the rapid and dramatic changes of temperature, which would have occurred within the chimney, have caused any damage and also to determine the need for any remedial measures. It is imperative that the chimney is not used prior to inspection.