Fire service urges homeowners to clean chimneys after spate of fires

Following spate of fires, fire service urges homeowners to clean chimneys

Following spate of fires, fire service urges homeowners to clean chimneys

First published in Cornwall

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has once again urged home owners to make sure their chimney is swept following another series of fires.

The advice comes after firefighters from Camborne were called to reports of two chimney fires in just over an hour.

One appliance was called to a property with a woodburner in Illogan Downs, at 8.40pm on January 6, where a fire was extinguished by firefighters using ladders, a hosereel, a stirrup pump and rods.

At 9.48pm that same evening a crew from Camborne was called to a chimney fire at Townshend near Leedstown, where after an inspection they confirmed that the fire had gone out.

A crew from Launceston had also been called to extinguish a chimney fire in the town on January 5, and the day before that firefighters were called to incidents in Looe and St Ive.

The fire service issued the following advice to anyone planning on lighting their fire this winter:

  • Sweep the chimney before use: once a year for most fuels, twise a year for coal and four times a year for wood burniing fires.
  • Ensure a fireguard is in front of the fire at all times
  • Remember sparkguards can prevent a serious property fire
  • Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to light your fire
  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm and check it works regularly.

In the event of a chimney fire, there are several steps to follow:

  • Dial 999 and ask for the Fire Service. It will help if someone can wait outside to meet them.
  • 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 sparkguard 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.

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