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.


Firefighters attending a chimney.
If you have a fire fuelled by:
Your chimney should be cleaned:
Wood Four times a year
Biomass Annually
Oil Annually
Smokeless Fuel Annually
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.