Get sweeping for Fire Safety Week

Fireplace Safety Week
Fireplace Safety Week

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is supporting Chimney Fire Safety Week from September 3-9.

Chimney Fire Safety Week raises awareness of safe chimney fire use and information about how to prevent a fire occurring, highlighting the importance of having chimneys swept regularly and only burning suitable fuel.

Chimney Fire Safety Week is held during September each year as the mornings get darker, the nights draw in and temperature begins to fall. It is this time of year that people with open fires and log burners start to fire up hearths and grates that may not have been used for several months

This is a time when it is vitally important to have the chimney swept to ensure it is clean and free from soot, leaves, birds’ nests and other debris. Carrying out the sweeping process will reduce the risk of a fire occurring or the build up of the poisonous gas, carbon monoxide, within the property.

NFRS Chief Fire Officer Paul Hedley said: “In the past 12 months, NFRS have responded to 48 chimney fires throughout the county. This is a 20% reduction in chimney fires compares to the 12 months prior and we are delighted by this result and hope residents continue to take action to make their homes safer.

“To keep you and your family safe from fire you should make sure you have your chimney swept regularly, depending on what fuel you burn, before the colder months set in and you begin to use your fire again. If the worst should happen, working smoke alarms can give you the early warning, and a fire-plan can help you ensure your family’s escape in a fire – make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them monthly.

Councillor John Riddle, Chair of Northumberland Fire Authority, added: “Fire safety is of utmost importance and it is imperative to continually raise awareness about how to safely maintain and use fires within the home.

“Northumberland Council and NFRS are committed to relaying the safety messages of Chimney Fire Safety Week to all residents in the region to help prevent chimney fires from happening and ensuring maximum enjoyment from your open fire or log burner in the home.”

Key tips to help prevent chimney fires include:

Ensure a fireguard is in front of the fire at all times.

Spark guards can prevent serious property fires.

Extinguish the flame before bed or leaving the house.

Never use petrol or paraffin to light your fire.

If you have a wood burner, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on fuel loading and air flow.

If you plan to reopen an old fireplace, seek professional advice from a certified chimney sweep.

NFRS offer free home safety advice and, where necessary, the fitting of free smoke alarms. It is also recommended that anyone with an open fire, wood burner or gas central heating system install a working carbon monoxide detector to their property to create a safer living environment.

For further information, contact NFRS on Telephone: 0800 731 1351 or Email: SWV.nfrs@northumberland.gov.uk