Employ a chimney sweep before the winter

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WITH the spiralling cost of oil, gas and electricity, open fires and log burners are increasingly popular and widely used in Lincolnshire, but without proper maintenance a chimney can become dangerous.

The latest statistics show that there are approximately 6,000 chimney fires a year in England, but most of these are preventable.

Chimney fires in Lincolnshire have been on the increase over the last two years and keeping your chimney swept, free of debris and well-maintained is key to preventing them.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue has joined forces with the National Association of Chimney Sweeps and The Guild of Master Sweeps to urge householders to book their appointments with a professional chimney sweep now.

Have your chimney swept before the colder winter months set in and more regularly for some types of fuels. If the worst should happen, a smoke alarm can give you the extra time you need to escape in a house fire – make sure you test yours regularly.

Please follow the guidance below for a safer chimney before the cold weather bites:

l Always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers.

l Make sure embers are properly put out before you go to bed.

l Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained.

To find a certified chimney sweep or for more information on chimney fire safety please visit www.nacs.org.uk or www.guild-of-master-sweeps.co.uk. For general fire safety advice, contact Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue on 01522 582222.