Fire Service Warn Against Greater Risk of Chimney Fires in Cold Weather

PUBLISHED: 09:16 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:11 04 May 2010

fire risk from chimneys

fire risk from chimneys

THE recent cold snap has seen the number of chimney fires in Cambridgeshire treble as residents increasingly rely on log fires to provide extra heating for their homes. With temperatures continuing to hover ominously close to zero, homeowners have turned

THE recent cold snap has seen the number of chimney fires in Cambridgeshire treble as residents increasingly rely on log fires to provide extra heating for their homes.

With temperatures continuing to hover ominously close to zero, homeowners have turned to log fires to help combat the cold but the rush to stoke fireplaces around the county has seen a dramatic rise in fires as homeowners neglect to have their chimney's properly swept.

During December fire-fighters were called out to 15 incidents in the county compared to just five during the previous month of November, causing fire chiefs to urge homeowners to take care.

Chimney fires typically start when thick layers of soot or tar build up on the flume and catch light as a fire burns below.

Wendy Coleman, Community Safety Advisor for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "If you have an open fire in your home, it is vital that your chimney is swept at least once a year to prevent a build up of debris which could start a fire.

"In addition to this, the brickwork on the chimney should also be inspected, particularly in the roof space to ensure there are no cracked or broken bricks which embers could escape through."

"Burning wood can cause the residue to build up quicker in the chimney walls as it can contain sap and glue. But whatever fuel you burn, it is important that the chimney is kept clean and you do not allow soot or ash to build up, said Ms Coleman.

Cambridgeshire Fire Service is offering residents a free home fire safety check. To book for a member of the service to visit your home, contact 0800 917 9994.

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