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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Chimney fires spark warning

17/01/2014

Firefighters in north Staffordshire are reminding residents to regularly sweep their chimneys following two blazes in the area.

"Now that the cold weather is well and truly upon us, it is absolutely essential that people maintain their chimneys and ensure that they are in good working order. Chimney fires can spread very quickly, reaping devastating consequences to properties and, even worse, putting lives at risk." 

Prevention manager for the north of the county Donna Broadhead

Both fires have been classed as accidental and are believed to have been caused due to poor quality maintenance or a lack of maintenance.

One crew from Hanley and the aerial ladder platform from Longton attended a chimney fire which spread to the roof fire of a property on Cavour Street at 5.41pm on Monday, January 13.

Firefighters had put the blaze out by 7.35pm but it had caused extensive damage to the roof space.

A crew from Sandyford also attended an incident involving a log burner at a property in Swan Bank in Talke.

The fire broke out at 11.16pm on Saturday, January 11 and it took crews until 11.55pm to extinguish it.

Prevention manager for the north of the county Donna Broadhead said: "Now that the cold weather is well and truly upon us, it is absolutely essential that people maintain their chimneys and ensure that they are in good working order. Chimney fires can spread very quickly, reaping devastating consequences to properties and, even worse, putting lives at risk.

"Following a series of simple steps, such as sweeping your chimney regularly, cleaning and maintaining the flue and making sure that a fire guard is always in place to protect against flying sparks from hot embers could end up saving your life. Don’t put it off, take action today."

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging people to follow the below top tips:

Ensure the fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house
Ensure good quality fuel is used
If you use smokeless fuel, sweep your chimney at least once a year
If you use bituminous coal, sweep your chimney at least twice a year
If you use wood, sweep your chimney quarterly when in use
If you use oil, sweep your chimney once a year
If you use gas, have your chimney swept by a Gas Safe registered installer/engineer once a year