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Chimney warning

Tuesday 16th September 2014

COMPLACENT coal and wood burners have been given a timely autumnal kick from Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

As summer draws to a close, people across the county are starting to get those home fires burning – but not always safely.

While homeowners who enjoy the cosy ambience of a real fire or logburner, the fire service has issued some scary advice on the frequency of flu cleaning in homes which have open fires.

Most people budget for chimney sweeping once a year – but advice from KFRS, under the national ‘ Fire Kills’ campaign, say people burning wood should have their chimneys swept up to four times a year, bituminous coal users twice a year and smokeless coal users at least once a year.

Even homeowners with chimneys above open gas and oil fires should have their chimneys checked once a year.

KFRS Head of Community Safety Lee Rose explained:  “With the colder, winter months looming, people will begin to start using open fires and their chimneys again.  In order to keep you and your family safe from fire, you need to take necessary steps such as ensuring your chimney is swept regularly, depending upon what fuel you burn, and I would urge all householders to have a working smoke alarm in their home.” 

The service also recommends using a fire guard to protect against flying sparks and ensuring embers are properly out before you go to bed.

There are around 7,000 chimney fires a year in England, of which almost 300 are in Kent and Medway.