Sweep to stay safe

With winter now in full force, firefighters are urging people to get their chimneys cleaned.

There have been 55 chimney fires across West Yorkshire since 1 September – many of which could have been prevented.

Ian Bitcon, Area Manager for Fire Safety, said: “It’s very cold outside, so it goes without saying that people will be putting their fires on to keep warm. All we ask is that you have your chimney swept regularly by a registered chimney sweep to keep you and your family safe.”

It is recommended that chimneys are swept at regular intervals according to the fuel that is being burnt.

•Smokeless fuels – at least once a year

•Bituminous coal – at least twice a year

•Wood – quarterly when in use

•Oil – once a year

•Gas – once a year

Our top safety tips are as follows:

•Ensure your chimney is swept regularly

•Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained

•Make sure you always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers

•Ensure the fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house

Carbon monoxide poisoning (CO)

A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning therefore it is very important to have your chimney swept by a professional qualified chimney sweep, such as those certified by the National Association of Chimney Sweeps.



Number of chimney fires since 1 September 2012, broken down into districts, are as follows: Bradford – 12; Calderdale – 13; Kirklees – 10; Leeds – 12; Wakefield – 8. West Yorkshire wide – 55.