skip to content

Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Four Chimney Fires in Staffordshire

13/01/2012

Staffordshire firefighters have been called to four chimney fires across Staffordshire overnight and this morning.

"We would like to remind people never to leave wood burners or fires unattended."

Station Manager, Mick Daniels

At 7.30pm last night, crews from Stafford, including the aerial ladder platform, were called to the Tap and Spile pub on Peel Terrace in Stafford after a wood burner caught fire.

The fire was extinguished and crews initially left the scene at 10.00pm then returned to re-inspect at 11.50pm. There were no further signs of fire so they closed the incident at just before midnight.

At 8.30pm, crews from Tamworth were also called to a wood burner fire on Manor Close in Harlaston. The aerial ladder platform from Burton was also requested to tackle the fire from a height as access to the chimney internally was restricted.

They left the scene at 10.45pm.

At just before 8.00am this morning, Chase Terrace firefighters will called to a third wood burner fire. Firefighters tackled the fire at the Norton Lane in Burntwood property before leaving the incident at just after 9.00am.

They will return to the property to re-inspect later this morning.

At 10.10am this morning, crews from Brewood and Codsall were called to another incident involving a wood burner. They attended the property on Eastgate Road, Brewood to deal with the fire and give advice to the occupier. A free Home Fire Risk Check was also completed before they left the scene at 10.40am.

Station Manager, Mick Daniels said: "Due to the predicated bad weather today and over the weekend, more people will be using their wood burners and fires however what a lot of people don’t realise is that their chimney needs to be swept if they have not used their wood burner or fire for a while.

"We advise that people have their chimney swept at least once a year and this should take place before you plan to use the wood burner or fire. Wood burners are becoming much more common now however if you’re having a wood burner installed you still need to have your chimney swept and ensure a qualified installer fits the wood burner.

"Make sure you keep logs for wood burners and open fires dry and away from damp areas and that a fire guard is in place when open fires are in use.

"We would also like to remind people never to leave wood burners or fires unattended – if you’re going out or going to bed make sure you have properly extinguished wood burners and open fires or turned off gas and electric fires."

Further Tips:

  • Burn dry seasoned wood, which produces more heat and also prevents soot (creosote) build-up. Flue vents should be inspected according to manufacturer guidelines, and cleaned as appropriate by a qualified individual.
  • Keep the area around the heating unit and flue clear - Do not dry wood in front of the stove as this may accidentally catch fire.
  • Place smoke detectors throughout the house (at least one in the room containing the wood stove) and test regularly.
  • Children MUST be supervised at all times when wood stoves are in use.
  • Other household venting appliances can diminish proper venting of your wood stove, causing possible smoke damage. During appliance installation, test all other appliances (bathroom fans, stovetop venting etc) to ensure that they don’t interfere with proper stove venting
  • Wood stoves should be safety tested.
  • To start a fire in your wood stove; crumple up paper on the stove floor and cover with small kindling. Open the draft/damper fully and light. Hold the door slightly ajar for a few minutes and then close tightly. Once the wood is burning brightly, add additional dry seasoned wood to the fire. Use the draft control to adjust the burn rate. Never light or rekindle a fire with petrol or charcoal lighter fluid.
  • When refuelling, open the door slowly to prevent smoke spillage.
  • Ashes removed may contain live coals. Never use a vacuum cleaner to remove ashes. Place ashes in a metal container with a lid. Then, remove it outside, well away from anything that can burn. Allow it to cool thoroughly before disposing of it.