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Commercial Services


Thatch Fire
Press Release - Making a clean sweep for safety
Posted on 09/09/2013

With summer drawing to a close, Chimney Fire Safety Week (9 to 15 September) provides a timely reminder to make sure that your chimney is ready for the winter months ahead. 

As part of the national Fire Kills campaign, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is urging householders to ensure their chimney is safe and to have their chimney swept by a registered chimney sweep. 

Open fires not only warm up a home, but also create a unique relaxing ambience.  With the numbers of people using open fires growing, the Fire Kills campaign has provided some top tips for safer chimneys:

• Always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers
• Make sure embers are properly put out  before you go to bed
• Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained

With the colder, winter months looming, people will begin to start using open fires and their chimneys again.  In order to keep you and your family safe from fire, you need to take necessary steps such as ensuring your chimney is swept regularly, depending upon what fuel you burn, and to have a working smoke alarm in your home. 

Fuels and recommended sweeping frequency:

Smokeless coals - At least once a year
Wood - Up to four times a year
Bituminous coal - Twice a year
Oil - Once a year
Gas - Once a year

Latest statistics show that there are approximately 7,000 chimney fires a year in England, but most chimney fires are preventable.

All chimneys and flue-ways should be cleaned and checked during the summer months to ensure they’re free from debris and in full working order before the heating season. A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisonings so it’s very important to employ a professional qualified chimney sweep.

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Notes to Editors

For more information on fire safety please visit

To find a certified chimney sweep, or for more information on chimney fire safety, please visit,, or

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