Tips to reduce the risk of having a chimney fire:
- Ensure flammable items are at least 1 metre away from your fireplace.
- Do not burn unseasoned wood.
- Avoid burning wood that has been treated with paint, varnish, MDF, OSD or other.
- Place ashes in a metal container or bin, preferably with a lid, and at least 1 metre away from your home. (Do not put hot ashes in your wheelie bin)
- Regularly clean and maintain your fireplace.
- Prepare your chimney for the colder nights with a chimney sweep.
- When using an open fire, always use a fireguard to protect yourself against flying sparks, and make sure any embers are put out before you go to bed.
- All wood burned must have a moisture content of no more than 17 percent.
- Buy an appropriately sized appliance for your room to avoid unburned fuel passing up the chimney as smoke and condensing in the flue as flammable creosote.
If you have a fire fuelled by:
Your chimney should be cleaned:
|Wood||Four times a year|
|Gas||Twice a year|
|Bitumous Coal||Twice a year|
When having a new fire fitted you should always use a HETAS or OFTEC approved contractor or member of the National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS). This will ensure your chimney is safe to use.
All chimneys and flue-ways should be cleaned and checked during the summer months to ensure they are free from debris and in full working order before the heating season. As well as causing a chimney fire, a blocked or defective chimney can also cause carbon monoxide poisonings so it is important you employ a professional qualified sweep.