Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have issued a warning about wood burners following three recent incidents which saw poorly installed wood burners result in house fires.
"Whilst wood burners are a cheaper alternative to gas, they could cause very serious fires if not correctly installed and maintained properly."
Station Manager, Rob Barber
Last month, crews were called to Southlands Avenue in Wolstanton after a neighbour reported a strong smell of burning and smoke coming into their property from next door.
On arrival, crews found a wood burner had been incorrectly installed and has just been put up an old chimney, causing smoke to seep into next door. In addition, the wood burner had also been placed on top of combustible materials and there were no carbon monoxide detectors fitted. Two similar incidents took place in December 2010 in Stafford and Oakamoor.
Station Manager, Rob Barber: "There is a move towards solid fuel heating trending at the moment as the cost of gas is ever increasing. The weather may be warming up now but people will get wood burners fitted during the summer months so they have them in time for the autumn.
"It is essential that anyone having a wood burner installed ensures they at least seek advice from a qualified person before attempting to install themselves and both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be fitted in the property before use of the wood burner.
"The incidents we have been to recently appear to be a result of incorrect installation and poor advice from the suppliers and could have turned into much more serious house fires. Whilst wood burners are a cheaper alternative to gas, they could cause very serious fires if not correctly installed and maintained properly.
"We would urge anyone considering having a wood burner to thoroughly research them first and where possible only use a qualified installer who is fully competent in the fitting and maintenance of wood burners."