Residents urged to get their chimneys swept after recent spike in incidents

AS THE colder weather sweeps the streets of Greater Manchester firefighters are urging people to inspect and clean their chimneys.

Last year Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) attended 44 chimney fires across the city-region with 37 of the incidents occurring between October 28, 2018 and 31 March, 2019.

In a recent two-week period (Sunday 10 November to Sunday 24 November 2019) the Service has attended 5 chimney fires across the city-region.

One chimney fire broke out on Monday 11 November at 11.39am. Two fire engines from Offerton and Marple were called to a house in Ash Street, Stockport.

On arrival firefighters were faced with a fire that was well alight. Crews used specialist equipment and a hose reel to extinguish the fire and were at the scene for around one hour and 20 minutes.

GMFRS’ Head of Prevention, Area Manager Damian O’Rourke, said: “As we head into winter we are urging everyone using a real fire to heat their homes to regularly inspect and clean their chimney flue.

“This is our busiest time of the year for chimney fires and if everyone just takes a few simple steps, they can keep their family safe from fire and help us reduce this kind of incident.

“I would also urge everyone to ensure they have a working smoke alarm to alert them if a fire does ever occur. To help keep you safe at home you can book in a free home visit with us by calling 0800 555 815.”

To minimise the risk of a chimney fire in your home follow the top tips below:

  • Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained
  • Make sure embers are properly put out before you go to bed
  • Always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers

How often should you clean your chimney?

  • Oil - Once a year
  • Gas - Once a year
  • Bituminous coal - Twice a year
  • Wood - Up to four times a year
  • Smokeless coals - At least once a year

Find a chimney sweep near you by calling the Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps Ltd on 0345 604 4327.

Article Published: 27/11/2019 08:56 AM