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Service makes plea for clean chimneys

plea for clean chimneysMID & WEST WALES Fire and Rescue Service is urging all householders to have their chimneys swept by a registered chimney sweep and familiarise themselves with chimney safety advice after a house fire at Parkmill, Swansea last Sunday evening.

Three appliances and a water bowser from Swansea West, Swansea Central, Reynoldston and Tumble were mobilised to deal with the fire that originated from a solid fuel fire within the premises. Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using four hose reel jets.

Station Manager Alan Sherman who attended the incident said: “It is important for the public to recognise the importance of having solid fuel and traditional coal fire flues swept at least every six months and to ensure the flues are suitably fire protected from combustible materials.

“This is particularly important during the Christmas period, when Christmas trees and decorations can be placed too close to fires and flues, causing them to ignite if no suitable protection is in place.

“A blocked or defective chimney can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that has no colour, taste or smell. Fuel burning appliances can produce carbon monoxide if they are incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained, or if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked, so it’s very important to employ a professional qualified chimney sweep such as those certified by the National Association of Chimney Sweeps”.

• Ensure your chimney is swept regularly

• Keep chimneys and flues 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

• Ensure good quality fuel is used

• Chimneys should be swept according to the type of fuel used:

o Smokeless fuels – at least once a year
o Bitumous coal – at least twice a year
o Wood burners – quarterly when in use
o Oil – once a year
o Gas – once a year (Any work on gas appliances requires a Gas Safe registered installer/engineer)

• Never interrupt the air supply by blocking air vents or air bricks.

The Service offer free Home Fire Safety Checks and personalised advice on a range of home fire safety issues as well as free smoke detectors if required. They would urge all householders to take advantage of this Service, particularly in the lead up to Christmas.

For further advice or to book a Free Home fire safety check please call 0800 169 1234 or visit www.mawwfire.gov.uk