Fire warning issued ahead of winter

Ian Bitcon
Ian Bitcon

As winter approaches, West Yorkshire Fire Service is warning residents to make sure their chimney is fit for purpose.

As part of the national Fire Kills campaign, WYFRS is urging householders to ensure their chimney is safe and to have their chimney swept by a registered chimney sweep.

Area Manager for Fire Safety Ian Bitcon said: “With the colder, winter months looming, people will begin to start using open fires and their chimneys again. In order to keep you and your family safe from fire, you need to take necessary steps such as ensuring your chimney is swept regularly, depending upon what fuel you burn.

“Latest statistics show that there has been nearly 500 chimney fires across West Yorkshire in the last five years.

“All chimneys and flue-ways should be cleaned and checked during the summer months to ensure they’re free from debris and in full working order before the heating season.

“A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisonings so it’s very important to employ a professional qualified Chimney Sweep.”

Mr Bitcon said open fires not only warm up a home, but also create a unique relaxing ambience. With the numbers of people using open fires growing, the Fire Kills campaign has provided some top tips for safer chimneys, he added.

Householders are advised to:

• 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.