Devon And Somerset Fire And Rescue Service Logo
Commercial Services
Christmas Safety
Press Release - Will Santa get down your chimney this Christmas?
Posted on 12/12/2017

Christmas is fast approaching and with the colder weather now here, cosy chimney fires are being lit. Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are encouraging you to check your chimney is clean, safe and swept for Santa’s arrival!

Chimney fires can cause serious structural damage to a home, with the risks being even greater if the property has a thatched roof. The damage is not only fire based but also the dirt and smell left from all the soot and smoke, which would affect your personal property, including all your Christmas presents.

Chimneys need to be dirt free to allow the free passage of dangerous combustion gasses, so regular cleaning will remove soot and creosote, and help prevent dangerous chimney fires. Make sure your chimney is swept regularly by a registered chimney sweep.

Sweeping frequencies

Sweeping frequencies below are for guidance only. Frequency will depend on a number of factors including: type of fuel, appliance used, duration of use, moisture content of wood fuel, type of chimney.

      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

Growing in popularity are wood burning stoves and they also need to be checked regularly to ensure they are safe and clean, ensure wood burners are installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Top tips

• 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 or leaving the house

• When burning wood, use dry, seasoned woods only

• Never burn cardboard boxes or waste paper

• Do not overload the grate 

• Consider having a carbon monoxide detector fitted as an additional safeguard against the build up of poisonous fumes

• Have a working smoke alarm

Smoke alarms

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service advise you to:

Regularly check your smoke alarms by pressing their button

Once a year – change your battery or consider buying a ten-year alarm which will not require frequent battery changes

Once a year – vacuum and wipe the smoke alarm casing to ensure dust isn’t blocking the sensor chamber (For mains wired alarms, switch off first).

For more winter safety tips click here.

Make the call to request free Home Safety advice call free on: now 0800 05 02 999. For any other fire safety advice, contact the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue helpline on: 01392 872288 or visit our website www.dsfire.gov.uk


Useful and informative article? Please share it!

Mindful EmployerStonewall LogoAchieving - Fire & Rescue Service Equality Framework Firemark LogoBQF Member Logo An image of the Positive About Disabled People logo