Chimney fires can be devastating. At best, they can cause thousands of pounds’ worth of damage and create quite a fireworks display for your entire neighbourhood.
At worst, they can destroy property and lives.
A raging inferno of up to 2100F, it is truly the last thing you want in your living room.
The sad thing is, chimney fires are completely and utterly avoidable. Yet year after year, they happen.
Simple answer: Because of people’s failure to get their chimney swept regularly by a competent professional sweep.
The ‘regularly’ bit is very important. We’ll see why further down…
Firstly, a bit of background.
Despite the stereotypical view of sweeps, we do so much more than just ‘shove a brush up’.
Yes, we do use rods and brushes, but we also do more indepth work such as CCTV inspections and chimney leakage testing.
But, in the vast majority of cases, if your installation has been fitted properly and is in general good condition, you shouldn’t need anything beyond a basic clean.
However, what we professional sweeps find during these basic cleans can provide you with some really important information.
You see, we can tell from the soot exactly what you are burning and how you are burning it. And that information is so crucial, precisely because chimney fires are caused by build up of soot, tars and creosote.
So if we find tar and creosote in the chimney, we always have a chat with the customer to explain what we’ve found and how to stop creating more.
Tar and creosote is extremely flammable and a major cause of chimney fires.
Similarly, if there is an excess build up of soot, we will discuss whether more frequent sweeping is needed.
Some chimneys can need sweeping every three or six months. The average is a minimum of once a year. Anything longer than that and you really are leaving it to chance.
To use a dental analogy, you wouldn’t skip going for check ups and, long term, still expect to have no problems with your teeth. The same principle applies to fireplaces and chimneys.
But to get this information, you as the fire user need to make the call to book an appointment.
Booking a professional sweep has never been easier.
And the cost of a regular sweep can be less than the price of a cup of coffee a week!
So, please don’t become that person who is penny-wise but pound foolish – put your home and family first, and get your chimney checked.