Help prevent chimney fires with a few simple steps

Chimneys
Chimneys

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) want to help prevent chimney fires before they occur and has given its backing to the National Chimney Safety Week.

There are more than 1,000 chimney fires in Scotland each year. Making sure your chimney is swept and checked regularly can significantly reduce your chances of having a chimney fire.

Local Senior Officer for Aberdeenshire David Rout, said: “Making sure your chimney is swept and checked regularly can significantly reduce your chances of having a chimney fire. We want to highlight some simple steps people can take to prevent a chimney fire happening in the first place.

“Soot and fuel residues slowly build up in chimneys over time and sometimes these leftovers can catch fire.

“If this happens, the chimney could send burning soot into your living room or start fires within the roof space or on other floors of the house.

“Even if it doesn’t burn the house down, a chimney fire can leave a huge mess. You can help prevent this by having your chimney swept regularly.”

He added: “The type of fuel you burn will determine how often your chimney should be swept.

“Don’t forget to give your chimney a clean sweep before winter as dust and debris can build up or blockages can occur if it has not been used regularly over the summer months. Make sure you use a registered chimney sweep.

“We would also discourage the use of wet wood as it can cause a build-up in the flue and ultimately a chimney fire.”

*Do not light fires using flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin.

*Do not burn paper or rubbish on fires in the grate.

*Do not overload the fire with fuel.

*Use a spark-guard when the fire is unattended to prevent embers setting fire to furnishings or carpets.

*Go into your loft/roof space occasionally to check the chimney when the fire is alight.

Check for smoke or soot coming from cracks, defective brickwork or mortar joints. Defects in your chimney could cause a fire.