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Clean Sweep Alert – A firefighter’s advice on chimney fires

Okay helpful tips to avoid a chimney fire
first this is burn the correct fuel try and use proper coals or proper seasoned logs sometimes
people use old wood and pallets and things like that and they’re not good things to burn
because they’ve often been treated with chemicals or stains or anything like a varnish. those
things can produce hot embers and residues that will build up inside the chimney. When
they build up inside the chimney they coke it up and those are the things that can catch
light. So our advice, alway use a proper fuel for your fire, very important also have a
fire grate it stops the embers popping out onto your carpet, your rug or your nice wooden
floors try and keep your fire in there. We all want a nice fire but try and use a fire
grate also make sure that you use in the fire itself the half is properly build it’s got
stone or slab and not just onto wooden floorboards, little things like that can help and just
keep the fire how you want a fire to be really which is a nice roaring glowing fire to sit
around and enjoy. Keep everything in place if need be leave
the room call the fire brigade and shut the door to the lounge or the room that it’s actually
in. We don’t actually suggest that you try and tackle the fire because you could actually
cause a lot of problems for yourself and can actually make a lot of mess of your front
room. So the most obvious thing is that you’ll see
flames or sparks coming up from outside your chimney which the neighbours may inform the
resident of, internally you may see hot embers falling into the fire grate, you may feel
that the walls are warm or you may see smoke coming back down the chimney where it should
be obviously going out of the chimney, they’re the signs visually that you’ll see other than
that you may hear a roar inside the chimney breast almost like the wind is blowing around
inside the chimney but what that could be is the hot embers burning inside. So they’re
the clues that there is something not quite right with your chimney. Having your chimney swept and maintained regularly
is a very important thing. Once a year your chimney needs to be swept and cleaned you’ll
find with a lot of home insurance companies that they won’t actually cover you for chimney
fire unless you produce a certificate that says that the chimney has been swept and cleaned.
Also the benefit of getting your chimney swept and cleaned by a professional is that they’ll
inspect the whole of the chimney. They’ll also check for cracks in the brick work they’ll
check the chimney stack up on the roof for you at the same time just visually and they’ll
give you advice on it and the right thing to do with chimney is to have it swept once
a year. As an operational firefighter I recommend
that you sign up to the clean sweep alert that Kent Fire and Rescue Service are currently
doing where once a year you’ll receive an alert from us to remind you to have your chimney
swept and cleaned and hopefully that’ll keep you nice and safe in the future.

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