Why this winter trend can have tragic consequences…

I see it at least four times a week,  and even if you’re not a chimney sweep, it’s not hard to find. Simply flick through the pages of a glossy ‘lifestyle’ magazine, or even have a flick through Right Move.

I’m talking about stacking logs and other combustible materials next to multi fuel stoves and woodburners. Some do it because it gives a nice, cottage feel. Others do it to ‘season’ their wood.

Either way, it is a massively foolish thing to do, and is NEVER acceptable for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, it is a fire hazard. Stoves get exceedingly hot and the heat transfers to its surroundings. If those surroundings are combustible, then they will catch fire. Even if they don’t burst into flames, they can start to smoulder and that in itself is a carbon monoxide risk.

Also, stacking logs against your appliance means you runs a very high risk of damaging your stove. Freestanding appliances need a mimimum amount of space for air to circulate around them. Not only is this necessary to allow the room to be heated, it also stops the appliance from becoming too hot. If that happens, then stoves can buckle and crack, meaning they can no longer be used.

The best way to stay safe but maintain that ‘rustic’ feel is to get a log basket it and keep it at an appropriate distance from the fireplace. And any ‘seasoning’ of wood should be done outside during a prolonged period of time.

Stacking logs against or around a fire is never safe – don’t do it.

Mr Soot Chimney Sweep is a HETAS Approved Sweep, and member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, offering a professional and friendly chimney sweep and stove service in Wigan, Stockport, St Helens, Ormskirk, Chorley and surrounding areas. Book Mr Soot online or call 07724 311 992.

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