Cornwall Fire Service issues warning over chimney fires
CORNWALL’S fire service has issued a warning over chimney fires as the evenings begin to draw in.
The fire service is urging people to get their chimney swept now to avoid a fire.
In 2011-2012 Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service attended 216 incidents, most of which could have been prevented.
A spokesperson from the service said: 'Since the "credit crunch', it appears that more people are using open fires and wood burners, because of the rising costs of gas, electricity and oil.
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“A recent incident also highlighted the dangers of a blocked central heating flue where an elderly couple suffered from the effects of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. This can happen with any fossil fuel system (which includes both the appliance and the flue) if it is faulty or the room is not properly ventilated.
“Most chimney fires are preventable. Regular inspection and cleaning of chimney flues will help prevent fires within chimneys.
“We are urging anyone who plans to light their fire this winter to get it swept first. The cost of a chimney sweep is very small (from approximately £30) when compared to dealing with the damage and cost of repair from a fire.”
If you would like free advice on chimney fire safety call 0800 3581 999.
Simple tips to greatly reduce your chances of having a fire in your chimney:
•Sweep the chimney before use
•Ensure a fireguard is in front of the fire at all times
•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.