Brigade issues open fire safety advice after spate of chimney fires
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Essex Fire Service has issued advice to people with open fires after being called out to three chimney fires in five days.
As the cold spell grips the region, the fire service responded to fires in Grays, Brentwood and Braintree between January 24 and January 29.
Officers are now urging householders to take extra precautions if they use an open fire or burner.
The top reasons for chimney fires is either the flues haven’t been swept regularly enough or the wrong type of wood or fuel is being burnt.
Crew Manager Paul Burder of Braintree Fire Station said: “Incidents like this show how important it is to take some extra precautions if you use a open fire or burner.
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“Chimney fires can cause a lot of damage to the house so we want encourage everyone to follow our fire safety advice.”
The advice offered is:
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•Have your chimney swept at least once a year, or more frequently if you burn wood
•Only use suitable fuels. Using the wrong type of fuel on a liner will reduce the life of the liner considerably due to increased corrosion
•Avoid burning resinous woods as soot builds up quickly. Suitable seasoned timber must be used in all solid fuel stoves
•Do not stack fires too high and remember to let them burn down well before you go to bed. Use a fire or spark guard
•Do not place objects on or over the mantle-piece which may cause you to stand too close to the fire to reach or use them
•Inspect your chimney regularly - particularly in the roof space - to ensure that it is sound and that sparks or fumes cannot escape through cracks or broken bricks
For more details about home fire safety go to www.essex-fire.gov.uk/Home_Fire_Safety/
The service also said it is vital householders have working smoke alarms fitted in the home.
A spokesman said: “Smoke alarms help save lives by giving you earlier warning of a fire and extra time to get out safely.”
Essex Fire Service fits moke alarms free of charge. For more details ring 0300 303 0088 or book via www.essex-fire.gov.uk/book.