Plea to people to have chimneys swept as people look for alternative amid soaring bills

Firefighters have called on people to make sure their chimneys and well-maintained after concerns people are using this method to keep warm amid soaring bills.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service chiefs warned people may be using the option or log burners as an alternative to electric and gas heating as the cost-of-living crisis continues to hit.

They have called on the public to get their chimney swept and to understand the dangers of their use – and of using clean and appropriate-quality fuel.

Chimney fires have been slowly decreasing, with figures showing that over 40 per cent of chimney fires in England take place over the three months of January to March.

However, this winter more people are likely to turn to using log burners and open fires to stay warm, with the cost of both electricity and gas expected to continue to climb.

Deputy chief fire officer Glynn Luznyj said: “It may seem strange to be encouraging people to get their chimneys swept at this time of year, however the idea is to get a sweep booked in now ahead of needing to use it when temperatures drop.

“Chimney fires can be devastating as well as life threatening, but by having regular inspections and cleaning, these fires can be prevented. It is important that people use an approved chimney sweep and The National Association of Chimney Sweeps has a helpful website for finding local and accredited chimney sweeps.

“There are also some other simple safety precautions to take which are ensuring you have working smoke alarms and a carbon monoxide alarm too due to these kinds of fires needing appropriate ventilation.

“It doesn’t take a lot of effort but it could potentially save your life and your family’s life.”

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