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National Chimney Fire Safety Week

National Chimney Fire Safety Week

Readers of this blog familiar with fire safety may be aware that this week (25th – 31st July 2011) is National Chimney Fire Safety Week.

Founded by the National Association of Chimney Sweeps and The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps in 2009, the aim of the Week is to increase awareness of chimney maintenance and the dangers of chimney fires. The target audience is anyone with an open fire in their home, whether it is coal, wood or gas burning.

In a couple of months people will be starting to think about using their fires again to warm their homes. If you have not used your chimney for the majority of the year it is very important to ensure that you have a chimney that is clean and safe to use. The warm summer months are a perfect time to consider the benefits of a clean chimney and take action.

The number of accidental chimney fires in England increased from 5,548 in 2006-07 to 8,149 in 2008-09, a dramatic increase that shows we all need to be more aware of this kind of fire safety.

Sweeping the chimney helps to create a clear passage for the by-products of combustion. Obstructions in the chimney like nests, cobwebs and soot stop the safe exit of these by-products and increase the chances of the chimney catching fire so its important these are removed.

All burning fuels contain carbon – if these fuels can’t burn properly and the by-products can’t be removed safely there is also an increased chance of poisonous carbon monoxide entering the room.

Many homes have fireplaces, as do many public establishments like pubs and hotels. Whether you are a homeowner, landlord or hotel manager you have a responsibility to ensure that anyone in your premises is safe. If a chimney fire starts ensure you have a working smoke alarm, adequate fire detection or fire alarm system on-site to catch the signs of fire as early as possible. With the dangers of carbon monoxide gas through the burning of fuels like wood and gas, it’s wise to make sure you also have gas detectors and CO alarms in the vicinity too.

As always, prevention is better than cure so regular maintenance of chimneys and fire appliances is a must.

Useful Tips

  • Sweep chimneys regularly.
  • Keep chimneys and flues well maintained.
  • Use a fire guard to prevent flying sparks.
  • Make sure a fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving the premises.
  • Don’t interrupt the air supply by blocking air vents or bricks.

Discount Fire Supplies have a range of gas detectors, smoke alarms and fire alarm systems suitable for detecting the dangers of faulty chimneys.

Discount Fire Supplies sell a range of fire alarms, fire alarm accessories and much more. Browse our online shop or contact us for a quote today.

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