Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is calling for improved fire safety awareness following recent incidents involving chimney blazes across the county.
Chimney fires in England typically account for more than 4,000 incidents dealt with by fire and rescue services each year.
CFRS is calling on homeowners to clean up their act and get their chimneys swept by an approved sweep to prevent chimney damage, and, in worse cases, household fires.
Ed Burrows, watch manager for prevention at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, says there are steps homeowners can take to prevent and protect their property:
“To keep you and your family safe from fire you should make sure you have your chimney swept regularly, depending on what fuel you burn, before the colder months set in and you begin to use your fire again," said Mr Burrows. "To make the most of your wood burning stove, ensure you are using quality wood fuel, maintain your appliance and chimney regularly and check you are using your appliance in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.
“The HETAS website has a range of useful tips to help you get the best performance from your stove.
“People wouldn’t think twice about getting their car MOT’d, but home appliances often get neglected. It might not be on the top of everyone’s to-do lists, but you really can’t afford to risk leaving these things unattended.”
Mr Burrows also stresses the importance for homes to have carbon monoxide detectors fitted for those that have open fires, wood burning stoves and gas appliances.
“Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer, you can’t see it, you can’t taste it, but it is a killer if left undetected. Please do purchase a CO alarm to keep your loved ones safe. Many detectors are now available for less than £10.”
For more information on maintaining your chimney and how can help with fire prevention, please visit: www.chimneyfiresafetyweek.co.uk. For information on how to get the best performance from your stove, visit www.hetas.co.uk