Fire service issues safety advice after Essex chimney fire

Essex Fire Service, East of England Ambulance Service, Essex Police and the Royal Logistics Corps Bo

Essex Fire Service, East of England Ambulance Service, Essex Police and the Royal Logistics Corps Bomb Disposal squad attended a fire on Old Hall Lane in Walten-on-the-naze Wednesday afternoon. - Credit: Archant

Firefighters issued safety advice after attending a chimney fire in Braintree.

One crew from Braintree was called to a home in Fennes Road at 1.50pm yesterday and used chimney rods and other equipment to clear the chimney and remove all materials blocking the flue.

Firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze by 2:45pm with minimal damage to the room.

Following the incident, Paul Burder, from 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.

“The top reasons for chimney fires is either the flues haven’t been swept regularly enough and also the wrong type of wood or fuel is being burnt.

“Chimney fires can cause a lot of damage to the house so we want encourage everyone to follow our fire safety advice.”

Essex County Fire and Rescue issued the following safety advice:

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• Have your chimney swept at least once a year, or more frequently if you burn wood. (Always use a competent chimney sweep who is able to provide you with a certificate upon completion of their work.)

• 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.

The fire service also reminded people the importance of having working smoke alarms fitted.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service fit smoke alarms free of charge. Call 0300 303 0088 or book online at