Rise in chimney fires

Following the recent cold weather there has been an increase in reported chimney fires. Some of you may have heard or seen the BBC Shropshire news feature, which has received significant attention in the media and in the industry. Shropshire Fire & rescue service reported 22 chimney fires in 22 days. Although year on year there has been a reduction in reported chimney fires, cold weather invariably leads to a spike in incidents. There had been 7700 chimney fires in the 2013/14 period with the most common times for fires to be reported in the hour between 8pm & 9pm.

To reduce the risk of chimney fires have your chimney swept at least twice a year. Use a dry well seasoned logs, with a moisture content of around 18-20%.

Invest in a moisture meter, to test the moisture content of your fuel prior burning.

moisture meter

moisture meter

Make sure your logs are not to large, smaller spilt logs will burn properly large round logs will slumber and char. Fuel up little and often, rather than fill up and reducing the air intake. If you have a stove invest in a flue thermometer

stove thermometer

stove thermometer

These attached to the flue pipe to make sure the flue gas temperatures are at a safe temperature as too cold then there is a high chance that the gases are likely to condensate in the flue increasing the build up of tar in the flue. To hot and you are at isk of damaging the appliance causing parts inside the appliance to need replacing earlier. If there has been build up in the flue and the flue gets too hot this can ignite the build up resulting in a quick call to the fire brigade.