Chimney Fire Safety Week

Chimney Fire Safety Week

1st September 2020

This week is Chimney Fire Safety Week. As the weather begins to turn and the nights draw in, it will not be long before many of us look to cozy up next to a log fire or begin to switch on our biomass heating systems. Running from the 31/08/2020 to 6/09/2020, Chimney Fire Safety Week aims to raise awareness of chimney fires and encourage consumers to act by promoting good practices when using wood burning stoves, open fires, and biomass heating systems.

Although a clean chimney can increase efficiency ratings, the primary reason to sweep chimneys and flues is to reduce health and safety hazards. Scotland has over 1000 chimney fires every year. Chimney fires occur when fuel residues and soot which build up in chimney and can catch fire. Follow the tips below to reduce your risk of becoming a fire statistic:

  • Get a registered chimney sweep to clean and check your chimney or flue at least once a year.
  • Never burn damp fuel. Burning damp fuel increases the amount of smoke, creosote and other gases in your chimney which add to fire hazard. Use a moisture meter to check the moisture content of your logs is under 20% at home or use supplies where the moisture content of the fuel is known.
  • Do not light fires using flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin.
  • Keep your stove, fireplace, or boiler clean. Ensure that ash is removed from the main combustion chamber safely to reduce debris build up and ensure efficient burning.
  • Keep the areas surrounding your stove, fireplace, or boiler clear and tidy. Many hearth or chimney fires start when items or fuel are stored too close to the fireplace.
  • Ensure the house is properly equipped with fire and carbon monoxide alarms. All rooms containing a fuel burning appliance or boiler should contain Carbon Monoxide detectors. Your home should have a smoke alarm in every circulation space on each story such as hallways and landings, a smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used during the daytime and one in the kitchen. Check the Scottish Government’s guidance here.
  • Always put your fire out before heading to bed.
  • Ensure your biomass boiler systems are serviced at least annually. This should include a flue clean and flue gas analysis.
  • Check the controls to ensure the stove or boiler is burning at safe and stable temperatures to reduce hazards and improve efficiency.

Use the hashtag #ChimneyFireSafetyWeek to keep up to date with Chimney Fire Safety Week.