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Whether you’ve had an open fire for years or you're thinking of installing a multi-fuel burning stove, here’s some handy tips on how to use them safely and avoid having a chimney fire.
Most chimney fires are preventable. Regular inspection and cleaning of chimney flues will help prevent fires within chimneys.
Some simple tips to greatly reduce your chances of having a fire in your chimney:
Chimney fires have the potential to cause serious damage to your property so ensure your chimney is cleaned in accordance with this guidance from the National Association of Chimney Sweeps:-
Do not be tempted to clean your chimney with a domestic vacuum cleaner, leave it to a proper chimney sweep. Have your flue inspected regularly to prevent fire breaking out of the chimney in a living space, or in the loft.
For more information the National Association of Chimney Sweeps (opens in a new window/tab) has a network of fully insured members throughout the Country, who work to a Code of Practice. For more details telephone free on 0800 833464 or use their Find a Chimney Sweep (opens in a new window/tab) facility on their website.
Dial 999 and ask for the Fire Service – we treat chimney fires like any fire in the home
If you have a conventional open fire, extinguish the fire by gently splashing water onto the open fire
If you have a solid fuel appliance, close down the ventilation as much as possible
Move furniture and rugs away from the fireplace and remove any nearby ornaments
Place a fire guard or spark guard in front of the fire
Feel the chimney breast in other rooms for signs of heat
If a wall is becoming hot, move furniture away
Ensure that access to your attic or roof space is available for the Fire Service as they will want to thoroughly check this area for signs of possible fire spread.
Without proper maintenance, any flue from a fire or stove can cause a dangerous build up of carbon monoxide gas.
A carbon monoxide detector will help protect you from this risk.
For further help and guidance please download our Chimney Fire Safety Advice (PDF, 436Kb) leaflet.
Wood-burning stoves and wood burning boilers should use only the right quality of wood and need to be properly installed, maintained and regularly serviced by a qualified and competent person.
If your wood burner is not burning correctly, contact the company or shop that sold it to you. Or contact the Association of British Solid Fuel Appliance Manufacturers for advice.
Follow these guidelines: