Think chimney fires in Stockport are a thing of the past? Think again.
Because, in fact, Stockport is actually the WORST area in South Manchester for chimney fires.
And it’s the second worst in Greater Manchester as a whole.
I uncovered these shocking facts after submitting a Freedom of Information Act request to Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service.
According to fire chiefs, there have been 430 reported incidents across the GMFRS area in the 10 years between 2009 and 2019.
Over that time, Stockport came joint second with Oldham, at 58 incidents – that’s around 1 in every 8 chimney fires across Greater Manchester in these areas.
Neighbouring Tameside was third; Trafford came fifth while Manchester and Salford were among the lowest.
The full details were:
1st – Wigan (76)
2nd – Stockport and Oldham (58 each)
3rd – Tameside (48)
4th – Bolton (38)
5th – Trafford (34)
6th – Rochdale (32)
7th – Manchester and Bury (30 each)
8th – Salford (26)
While these statistics are a cause for concern, I actually know that the ‘real’ figures are much higher.
Well, when you sweep a chimney you expect the soot to be of a certain texture. Flues which have been on fire to some degree have ‘burnt’ soot and this is easily recognisable to a professional chimney sweep. Yet when I tell the owner they never knew.
Some also see sparks coming out of the chimney and shut their fire down, without dialling 999.
So the official overall figure 430, added to the amount of unrecorded incidents, could bring the true tally up to around 1,000.
Frighting. But also frustrating
Because as a registered, professional master chimney sweep serving the Stockport area, I know that chimney fires are completely avoidable.
A good installation, used the correct way and swept, serviced and maintained regularly should mean you never suffer the embarrassing ordeal of having fire engines outside your house.
Not only is in embarrassing, it can actually be a major risk to life and limb, not to mention property. If the flue is part of a shared chimney stack, it could also impact on your neighbours.
Chimney fires can reach up to 2,100F, meaning it will at best render your chimney unusable and leave you with an expensive repair bill.
Hopefully these figures will act as a wake up call and ensure that we get these figures down as low as possible.
Sweeping removes debris such as soot from a chimney – build ups of which can cause chimney fires. I also give professional advice based on what I remove from your flue.
It’s a small price to pay to ensue you help keep your home and family as safe as possible.
The period between New Year and spring is prime chimney fire time. Most flues only need sweeping once a year, regardless of how often they’ve been used. This includes flue liners as well.
Please don’t because a Stockport chimney fire statistic – book you chimney sweep today.
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. Book Mr Soot online or call 07724 311 992.