This campaign focuses on the importance of sweeping your chimney regularly and appliance maintenance, the use of quality fuels and tips to get the most efficiency from appliances.
Chimney fires have been steadily decreasing in most regions over the years, with the period from January to March usually the peak season for chimney fires, with figures identifying over 40% of chimney fires in England taking place over those three months.
- 41% of chimney fires from April 2016 to March 2017 took place between January and March.
- April 2010 to March 2011 saw over 7,600 chimney fires in England.
- Chimney fires in 2016/17 represented just 2.6% of total fires in England.
Tips and Advice -
- Ensure your chimney is swept regularly - STAR will organise for your chimney to be swept once a year (during your heating service) – if the chimney sweep recommends it is swept more regularly this is your responsibility.
- Remind your friends and family to get theirs swept.
How often? -
Chimneys should be swept according to the type of fuel being used:
- Smokeless Fuels – at least once a year.
- Bituminous Coal – at least twice a year.
- Wood – quarterly when in use.
- Oil – once a year.
- Gas – once a year.
Things to consider -
- Keep chimneys, flues and appliances clean and well maintained.
- Be careful when using open fires to keep warm. Make sure you always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers.
- Ensure the fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Never interrupt the air supply by blocking air vents or air bricks.
- Avoid slumbering an appliance (unless it has been tested as safe to do so). Slumber mode is when an appliance is purposely set at a low or minimum output normally for overnight burning to be revived in the morning without the need for relighting.
- Chimneys that have been lined still require regular sweeping.
Fuel for Thought -
- Use the appropriate fuel for your appliance – some appliances will be suitable for wood only, some are multi-fuel – check your appliance instructions.
- Never store the fuel next to the appliance.
- When burning logs look for a fuel that is 20% moisture content or lower – source your fuel from an accredited supplier.
- Get a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in accordance with Building Regulations (and test regularly)
- Last year over 200 people died in fires in the home. You’re at least 4 times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no working smoke alarm.
Please remember you must have our written permission before installing any heating appliance for example a log burner.