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3 September 2014 - Time to make a clean sweep

Time to make a clean sweep

With summer drawing to a close, Chimney Fire Safety Week (8 –14 September) provides a timely reminder to make sure that your chimney is ready for the winter months ahead.

As part of the national Fire Kills campaign, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is reminding householders to ensure their chimney is safe and to have their chimney swept by a registered chimney sweep.

Open fires not only warm up a home, but also create a unique relaxing ambience. With the numbers of people using open fires growing, the Fire Kills campaign has provided some top tips for safer chimneys.

  • Always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers
  • Make sure embers are properly put out before you go to bed
  • Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained

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 Fire Kills campaign offers this guidance:

  • Smokeless coals - At least once a year
  • Wood - Up to four times a year
  • Bituminous coal - Twice a year
  • Oil - Once a year
  • Gas - Once a year

Lee added: “Latest statistics show that there are approximately 7,000 chimney fires a year in England and over 300 of those are in Kent and Medway, but most chimney fires are preventable.

“At this time of year all chimneys and flue-ways should be cleaned and checked to ensure they’re free from debris and in full working order before the heating season. A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisonings so it’s very important to employ a professional qualified Chimney Sweep.”

Watch KFRS’s short videos below to find out what is involved in having your chimney swept in your home or your  business.

For further information on chimney safety, you can visit the association websites:

Further free fire safety advice is available on this website, by calling (free from landlines) 0800 923 7000 or emailing home@kent.fire-uk.org

Get swept! Avoiding chimney fires in your home

Chimney sweeps have a brush with fire safety

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