Chimney Fire Safety Week

Chimney Fire Safety Week

4th-10th September 2017

It’s Chimney Fire Safety Week – so we want to continue spread the Chimney Fire Safety message!

It’s Time to Get Chimney Sweeping!

Chimney Fire Safety

Time to Get Sweeping

Chimney Fire Safety Week, (4th-10th September), aims to bring awareness to chimney fire safety and highlight the issues to chimney users and educate them on how to avoid a chimney fire in their home.

This year the message is no different! As part of Chimney Fire Safety Week, we are advising you that It’s Time to Get Sweeping!

Before you get set to light your fires again this Autumn and Winter, we wanted to remind you of some important chimney fire safety information and advice, to ensure that the safety of your fireplace and chimney are maintained and can continue to be used safely for another Winter and that YOU ARE KEPT SAFE IN YOUR HOMES!

Whether you use your open and inglenook fireplace or stove sparingly or continually over the Winter months, it is just as important that you have your annual chimney sweep carried out before you re-light it this Winter, to rid your chimney of any soot, tar or creosote deposits that may have built up over ‘burning season’. Plus, an annual chimney sweep helps to clear your chimney of any other potential blockages –  such as debris from birds’ nests, twigs, cob webs, and it also helps to identify any other potential problems.

Any amount of use of your chimney, can result in the build-up of soot, tar and creosote deposits in your flue, from burning combustible materials such as wood, coal, gas. These remnants that coat your flue or liner are also combustible and if left too long in your flue can build-up and act as fuel for a chimney fire. Coupled with any other debris such as from bird’s nests, twigs, cob webs – is a potential chimney fire hazard waiting to happen!

If left, over time, the soot can also damage and erode your cement, brick work or liner which could prevent the safe exit of products of combustion and cause loose brickwork.

Hence why, it is always advisable for an annual chimney sweep to be carried out.

After all, you wouldn’t skip your annual car service or MOT, so why would you miss your annual chimney sweep and put you and your family at risk in your own home?

Open fires and stoves are a great source of heat and comfort in the cold season and if used and maintained properly and regularly, can be still be continually enjoyed and safely.

Here at Ablewight, we take great pride in continuing to spread the chimney fire safety message to our customers and highlighting the importance of having an annual chimney sweep to avoid the risk of a chimney fire.

Causes of a Chimney Fire

Many of the 5,000 chimney fires that occur each year, which are often caused by the build-up of soot, tar and creosote deposits from irregular cleaning, are avoidable by maintaining the safety of your chimney by having an annual sweep carried out,

As advised by the Fire Service, an annual chimney sweep greatly reduces the risk of a chimney fire!

The most common causes of a chimney fire are:

  • Infrequent sweeping and cleaning
  • Burning unseasoned wet wood
  • Improper appliance sizing
  • Overnight burning or smoldering wood for long periods in wood stoves

Here you can see evidence of soot and tar build up in a chimney. This is often caused from burning wet wood

chimney soot, chimney tar, tar build up

Heavy Tar and Soot Lined Chimney – Dangerous Levels

Clogged chimney

Heavy soot and tar deposits

Dangers of a Chimney Fire

All chimney fires are extremely dangerous even though their intensity and duration may vary. During a chimney fire, internal flue temperatures may reach a staggering 1,100 degrees Celsius. As a result, massive radiant heat is emitted through the chimney walls, and with the addition of possible thatched or wooden roofs, a devastating house fire can start quickly.

chimney fire, house fire

Chimney Fires can Cause such Devastation

Avoiding a Chimney Fire

The Fire Service recommend an annual sweep be carried out, to maintain the safety of your chimney, as the best way to avoid the risk of a chimney fire. 

Cambridge Fire and Rescue Service provides the following steps to enjoying your open fireplace safely:

  1. Have your chimney swept at least once a year, or more frequently if you burn wood
  2. Avoid burning resinous woods as soot builds up quickly
  3. Burn only suitable fuels
  4. Do not overload the grate or appliance
  5. Do not bank fires too high and remember to let them burn down well before you retire to bed
  6. Check the hearth, floor and furnishings near the fire for hot sparks or embers before you go to bed
  7. Use a fire or spark guard to prevent accidental fires and make sure that it has the kite mark or conforms to a relevant British / European standard
  8. Do not place objects on or over the mantle-piece which may cause you to stand too close to the fire to reach or use them
  9. Inspect your chimney breast regularly – particularly in the roof space – to ensure that it is sound and that sparks or fumes cannot escape through cracks or broken bricks


They also state that the frequency of chimney sweeping is directly related to the type of fuel you burn and recommend the following sweeping frequencies:

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

An annual chimney sweep will rid your chimney of any soot, tar, creosote build-up, plus other blockages that can fuel a chimney fire.


Top Tips for Avoiding a Chimney Fire

  • Keep chimneys and flues 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
  • !Don’t burn wet wood! 


Don’t Risk the Safety of your Family!

 Book Your Annual Chimney Sweep Now

Call 01223 964 305, Email or Book Online Today!



It’s Time to Get Chimney Sweeping!


Chimney Fires are in the News!

All too often a chimney fire occurs, which could have been avoidable!

So, to support and back up our advice and highlight the importance of an annual chimney sweep, please find below some other links to recent news articles where a chimney fire has taken place.

It really does pay to have your annual chimney sweep!




© Wight Initiatives
VAT # 218 3459 04
Registered in the UK # 7725 203
Wight Initiatives Ltd,
23 King Street,
Cambridge, CB1 1AH
The Officers’ Mess Business Centre, Royston Road, Duxford, CB22 4QH
Registered in the UK # 7725 203
VAT # 218 3459 04