Don't be part of the next UK fire statistics. Get your chimney swept at least once a year.
UK fire statistics show that each year chimney fires are on the increase. This will be largely due to not getting the chimney swept often enough or burning fuel that is inappropriate for the appliance and causing tar to build up in the chimney.
Most insurance companies will no longer pay out for claims made due to chimney fires unless the chimney has been swept by a certified chimney sweep and a valid certificate of sweeping is held that is recognized by insurance companies.
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To help prevent chimney fires
Chimney fires can burn explosively - noisy and dramatic enough to be detected by neighbours or passers by. Flames or dense smoke may shoot from the top of the chimney. Homeowners report being startled by a low rumbling sound that reminds them of a freight train or a low flying airplane.
However, those are only the chimney fires you know about. Slow-burning chimney fires don't get enough air or have enough fuel to be as dramatic or visible as their more spectacular cousins. The temperatures they reach are very high and can cause damage to the chimney structure and nearby combustible parts of the house.
Chimney fires don't have to happen. Here are some ways to avoid them:
Use seasoned woods only (dryness is more important than hard wood versus soft wood considerations)
Build smaller, hotter fires that BURN more completely and produce less smoke.
Never BURN cardboard boxes, waste paper, or Christmas trees; these can start a chimney fire.
Burn Recommended fuels ONLY and NEVER use your fire as a waste paper bin.
It has been proven that this practice starts chimney fires.