Please ensure your chimney is in good condition and is regularly swept.
A blocked or defective chimney can cause carbon monoxide poisoning as well as a fire. So regular inspection and cleaning of chimney flues can help to identify and eliminate issues before they become a problem.
Make sure your chimney is swept regularly by a certified chimney sweep. The recommended frequencies depend upon the fuel you burn.
As a quick guide, recommended frequencies are:
- Smokeless coal – at least once a year
- Wood – up to four times a year
- Bituminous coal – twice a year
- Oil or gas – once a year (refer to the Gas Safe Register for gas)
It is also important to have working smoke alarms in your home and that you test them once a month.
If you are using an open fire or stove it is also advisable to invest in a carbon monoxide detector, as early warning can make the difference.
Top tips – Safe Chimney Use
- 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.
- If you have recently opened up, or are about to start to use a fireplace, make sure it is inspected by a qualified person.
- When burning wood, use dry, seasoned woods only.
- Never burn cardboard boxes or paper.
- Inspect your chimney breast, particularly in the roof space.
- Make sure that the chimney breast is sound, and that sparks or fumes cannot escape through cracks or broken bricks.
- Ensure wood burners are installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make sure the appliance receives enough air to allow the fuel to burn properly.
- Consider fitting a carbon monoxide detector.